The U.S. Commerce Department recently announced the desire to double lumber tariffs on Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. from 9% to 18.32%.
On Saturday, May 22, National Association of Home Builders Chairman Chuck Fowke released the following statement:
At a time when soaring lumber prices have added nearly $36,000 to the price of a new home and priced millions of middle class households out of the housing market, the Biden administration’s preliminary finding on Friday to double the tariffs on Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. shows the White House does not care about the plight of American home buyers and renters who have been forced to pay much higher costs for housing. This action clearly shows the White House is disingenuous when it claims the nation’s housing affordability crisis must be an important priority. This move certainly demonstrates a lack of courage to stand up to the U.S. lumber lobby that is already reaping record profits off the backs of hardworking American families. The administration should be ashamed for casting its lot with special interest groups and abandoning the interests of the American people. It knows that the lumber tariffs are nothing less than a tax on American home buyers, renters and businesses that rely on lumber products and they could not have come at a worse time. Lumber prices are already up more than 300 percent from a year ago. If the administration’s decision to double tariffs is allowed to go into effect, it will further exacerbate the nation’s housing affordability crisis, put even more upward pressure on the price of lumber and force millions of U.S. home buyers and lumber consumers to foot the bill for this ill-conceived protectionist action. A failure to act decisively will show that the White House has lost all credibility in its claims of fighting for housing affordability and the interests of working-class families.
According to Seeking Alpha, the proposed rates are subject to further review over the next six months. before final duties are set. Additionally, two-by-fours made from Western spruce, pine and fir reportedly sold last week for a record $1,640 per 1,000 board ft. — a 340% increase over the past year.