Tariffs ‘Without Merit,’ NAHB Asserts

by WOHe

Tariffs ‘Without Merit,’ NAHB
Asserts 

Washington, DC Noting that different types of lumber cannot be
substituted for each other without harming the quality of homes for
U.S. consumers, the nation’s home builders have told an independent
trade panel that the Commerce Department’s recent decision to
impose 29% duties on imports of Canadian lumber is without merit
and will harm housing affordability and also threaten the
housing-led economic recovery.

“Because the types of lumber imported from Canada are
significantly different from most of the lumber produced in the
U.S. and used for different structural uses in home construction,
enacting unjust lumber trade barriers will not protect domestic
lumber producers from rightful competition with their northern
neighbors,” said Barry Rutenberg, a v.p. of the National
Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and chairman of the
association’s Building Materials Task Force.

“These punitive tariffs will drive up the cost of housing and
all kinds of wood products for millions of consumers and workers in
lumber-dependent industries,” Rutenberg explained. “If the entire
29% border duties are reflected in U.S. prices, this will add
nearly $1,500 to the cost of building a typical new home. With
housing activity providing millions of jobs each year and
accounting for 14% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, “this
action would [clearly] threaten the very industry that is leading
our economic recovery,” Rutenberg asserted.

The International Trade Commission is set to issue a ruling this
month on whether U.S. lumber producers have suffered injury from
alleged Canadian subsidies to its industry, said the Washington,
DC-based NAHB.

Home building and remodeling account for two-thirds of lumber
consumption in the U.S., and lumber is the main building material
used in home building.

“Since there are not enough trees available in the U.S. to
produce the lumber needed for home building, Canadian lumber
imports are critical for the construction of affordable new homes
and to make improvements on existing homes in America,” the NAHB
asserted.

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