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An escalating trade war between the United States and Canada could save timber jobs in Montana while creating a lot of uncertainty in Canada.
(PD)

An escalating trade war brewing between the United States and Canada could save timber mills in Montana, but at the cost of over 1,000 jobs north of the border in British Columbia.

It all started in April, when the Trump administration slapped tariffs on softwood lumber coming across the border, making them up to 24 percent more expensive. It’s something Montana lumber producers have been asking for, and it’s a test of Trump’s ‘America First’ trade policy. 

PD

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s carefully and seriously considering a request from the premier of British Columbia to deny U.S. coal exports through Vancouver.

Failed Legislation Means Uncertainty For Colstrip's Future

May 3, 2017
The Colstrip Power Plant consists of four separate coal-fired generating units, collectively owned by Puget Sound Energy, Talen Energy, Avista Corporation, PacifiCorp and NorthWestern Energy.
Beth Saboe

When Montana's 2017 Legislature adjourned on April 28, Sen. Duane Ankney, R-Colstrip, ended almost right where he began.

At the session's beginning, he helped draw up several bills that would help his community, which is facing the impending closure of two out of four units at its massive coal-fired electrical plant. By the time lawmakers left the Capitol, many of the bills – aimed at easing impacts on jobs, tax revenues and real estate – were dead.

The big state budget bill landed on Governor Steve Bullock’s desk Monday, one of the final acts of the 2017 legislative session, which was gaveled to a close Friday.

MTPR’s Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney joins us for a look at what Montana lawmakers did and didn’t accomplish since convening in January.

The Spring Creek Mine near Decker, Montana
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Montana timber companies are happy that President Trump has slapped new import taxes on Canadian forest products, but backlash is hurting a coal company here.

On Wednesday the premier of British Columbia asked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to retaliate against the timber tariffs by shutting down U.S. access to a seaport in Vancouver. That letter caused the stock price of Cloud Peak Energy to drop by 10 percent yesterday.

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