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Business and Economy

LePage Says Trump’s Lumber Tariffs On Canada Threaten Maine Jobs

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s Republican governor is asking President Donald Trump’s administration to ease up stiff softwood lumber tariffs he says are leading to "devastating" job losses.

Gov. Paul LePage this month asked U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to exempt Canadian provinces such as New Brunswick and Quebec from the tariffs. Softwood lumber like spruce, pine and fir is used for everything from construction to newsprint.

The U.S. government has been collecting preliminary tariffs on imported softwood since April.

Most lumber companies stopped paying those tariffs Saturday. U.S. officials have until November for a final decision on tariffs.

The Trump administration has argued Canada unfairly subsidizes its industry. LePage said one company is moving production of shingles from Maine to British Columbia while a Maine picket fence mill could move to New Brunswick.