NAHB Raps Canadian Wood Tariff

by WOHe

NAHB Raps Canadian Wood
Tariff

Washington, DC A recent ruling by the International Trade
Commission triggering tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber imports
“will harm housing affordability by acting as a hidden tax on
American home buyers and renters,” the National Association of Home
Builders charged last month.

However, NAHB expressed optimism that the duties will ultimately
be overturned by international review panels, “allowing American
consumers to win in the long-run.”

“The ITC’s vote that the U.S. lumber industry was threatened
with injury by imports from Canada represents a blow for free trade
that will create windfall gains for timber barons at the expense of
American home buyers,” said NAHB v.p. Bobby Rayburn.

The 27% tariffs on Canadian lumber imports, set to go into
effect last month, would add more than $1,000 to the cost of
building a new home, stated the Washington, DC-based NAHB, which
has lobbied strongly against the tariff.

Home building and remodeling account for two-thirds of domestic
lumber consumption, and lumber is the primary material used in home
building. Due to the limited amount of trees available in the U.S.
to produce the lumber needed for home building, Canadian lumber
imports “are essential for the construction of affordable new homes
and to make improvements on existing homes in America,” the NAHB
stated.

“Without access to Canadian spruce-pine-fir, which is used
primarily for framing walls in homes because of its performance in
producing walls that remain straight, builders may look to other
materials such as steel, insulated concrete forms and masonry,”
Rayburn said. “If lumber prices go up, the number of home buyers
goes down, which hurts not only home builders and their employees,
but also many sectors of the economy and communities that we
support.”.

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