As record lumber costs in North America push home prices to new highs, the U.S. National Association of Home Builders has called on President Joe Biden’s administration to strike a trade deal in long term on the Canadian lumber trade.
In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Home Builders President John Fowkes said its 140,000 member builders have seen lumber prices triple since April 2020. Fowkes noted he has launched a similar appeal to Donald Trump’s administration and that the timber trade situation is more pressing today. , as homeowners restricted by COVID-19 have added their home improvement projects to demand.
“Anti-dumping and countervailing duties currently in place on softwood lumber imported from Canada exacerbate already high lumber prices, and tariffs on other products are also contributing to rising construction costs, resulting in more housing. dear, âFowkes wrote in late April.
Lumber prices hit a new record on Monday, with futures contracts for delivery in May hitting more than $ 1,500 per thousand board feet. British Columbia lumber producers, responsible for half of Canada’s export production, reap profits despite U.S. tariffs being maintained, and homebuyers, builders and renovators pay the price. price.
In November 2020, the US Department of Commerce reduced the countervailing duty rate on Canadian lumber to less than 10%. The latest round of trade sanctions in the 30-year campaign led by the US Lumber Coalition initially resulted in its highest tariffs on producers in British Columbia, more than 20% on lumber from West Fraser, Tolko and Canfor.
The US Lumber Coalition has hit back at home builders, arguing that import duties have “almost no impact” on homebuyers and that high demand and lack of supply are the main drivers of lumber prices.
British Columbia Lumber Policy