World Economy

US Commerce Secretary Ross fires new trade salvos as Trudeau calls Trump on lumber, dairy

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross told the Wall Street Journal that trade actions on aluminum, semiconductors and shipbuilding are under review as well as plans to start free-trade talks directly with Japan, the United Kingdom and European Union even as plans to look at existing free-trade pacts with South Korea and the North America free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

In a wide ranging interview, Ross, 79, pledged to look at issues as diverse as providing support to Westinghouse Electric Co., the nuclear-reactor company owned by Japan's Toshiba that filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. last month.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for a meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York on April 6, 2017.
Jewel Samad | AFP | Getty Images

The interview follows a decision to impose tariffs on farm products from Canada on softwood lumber and President Donald Trump issuing a tweet suggesting dairy products may be next.

Tweet 1

The moves prompted a phone call late Tuesday between Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who "refuted the baseless allegations" on lumber, according to Reuters, citing a statement, and saying that Canada will stick to NAFTA rules giving U.S. access to duty-free and quota-free access for milk protein substances.

Click here for the WSJ story.

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.