Commerce Secretary Working to Ensure Adequate Lumber Supply for Builders

Filed in Capitol Hill, Construction Industry, Economics by on March 15, 2018 4 Comments

NAHB CEO Jerry Howard held talks with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on March 14 in which the secretary assured Howard that the administration is working to make sure U.S. home builders have access to a sufficient supply of lumber.

“Our intent is not to hobble the home building industry,” said Ross.

The Commerce Department has imposed tariffs averaging 20% on Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. NAHB believes the tariffs are harming housing affordability, home builders and consumers by artificially inflating lumber prices, which are running at an all-time high.

Howard urged Ross to work with his Canadian counterparts to craft an equitable long-term solution to the trade dispute that would ensure an adequate supply of lumber to the U.S. marketplace at a reasonable price.

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  1. Today’s US$ to CA$ is 1.29 . The coalition is claiming Canadian Softwood imports of 30% which is just about the banking monetary difference thus Duties & Tariffs at 20.3…% for US claimed import damages. . We are exporting in cubic meters enough logs to keep over 70 sawmills operating per year and the communities of at least 3500 residence per mill. In turn those jobs and communities for producing Lumber goes over-seas. Yes, log export dollars when turned into Lumber would increase the export dollars by at least 48% while retaining and increasing domestic employment. There is also the difference of US private Land & Timber ownership versus Canadian Crown Land & Timber ownership. However, if the US had not restricted the US National Forest usage which President Roosevelt originally set up to bring us out of the great depression, that would not be a major consideration factor. And in closing There are major business taxation differences too.

  2. TP says:

    “have access to a sufficient supply of lumber”
    Access means nothing really. There will be plenty of access to supply when home building stops because the prices of everything have been artificially inflated by the taxes imposed on the imported materials.

  3. The price of a lumber package per house for our company has increased between $4000 to $5000. In some cases we are unable to pass these increases onto the customers. Even when we can this increase along with the ever ending other increases across all categories has caused a slowdown in sales that I fear will last throughout the remainder of the year. In small to middle markets our biggest competitor is the existing home inventory. The spread between new and existing has widen to a point that new is the last resort.

  4. Susanna says:

    I would like to see us have the ability to harvest our own lumber. What regulations have to change to allow that to happen.

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