More than 170 Lawmakers Take a Stand for Homeownership

Filed in Advocacy by on June 14, 2018 8 Comments

At the behest of NAHB, 171 members of Congress this week sent a joint letter to the Trump administration calling on the U.S. to resume talks with Canada to negotiate a new softwood lumber trade agreement.

NAHB Chairman Randy Noel applauded the bipartisan group of lawmakers “for taking a stand for homeownership.”

In an official statement, Noel added that “the current situation is clearly unacceptable. Tariffs averaging more than 20% on Canadian softwood lumber shipments into the U.S. are contributing to rising market volatility and record-high lumber prices that are making it harder for millions of Americans to afford a home.”

Since the beginning of last year, rising lumber prices — made worse by tariffs on imported Canadian softwood lumber — have increased the price of an average single-family home by nearly $9,000.

Not only is this harming housing affordability, it has also knocked close to 1.4 million potential home buyers out of the housing market.

The congressional letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer does not take sides in this trade dispute. It simply highlights the urgent need for the U.S. and Canada to renew negotiations in an effort to come to an equitable solution that will satisfy all sides — including domestic industries and consumers — that rely on softwood lumber for their economic well-being.

Read the letter here.

For more information, contact Alex Strong at 800-368-5242 x8279.

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Comments (8)

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  1. Jerry Davis says:

    by all means let’s not cut off our nose to spite our face.

  2. Finally an article that accurately depicts the effect lumber tariffs are having on lumber prices. This statement “made worse by tariffs on imported Canadian softwood lumber” is the first time I have read verbiage in an article from NAHB on this topic that doesn’t blame the entire price increase on the tariffs.

    • Norman Hyman says:

      Whether or not there may be other contributors, the tariffs on Canadian soft lumber are unreasonable, unnecessary, and a major obstacle to affordable housing. But Trump is only interested in big buildings and hotels.

    • William says:


    • Don says:

      I agree with Barry. Being in the wood truss industry I have seen the cost of some lumber grades rise 100% + since spring of 2017 when the idea of the 20% tariff was put out there. There is so much more going on with the price of lumber than the tariff. The constant blame of it on the tariff tells me you either have an agenda or you are just listening to other with out really looking at what is going on. Trump himself did not put the tariff in place although he will take the credit for it. If you don’t think that is true then again more homework you should be doing to understand what really happens with NAFTA and the Soft Wood Lumber agreement.

      • scott Mauldin says:

        Don , I concur with you putting all the blame on tariffs , is a fallacy. There are many other contributing factors as you pointed out , but trucking and shipping in Texas has become a major factor in driving cost up to ship to yards as well as the railroads in creasing freight cost due to a large demand for lumber goods . I also will ask that people look at an increase across the board of the manufactures and mills ,collectively when the demand became more than they can keep up with cost seemed to jump quickly and not slowly .

  3. Danny Hill says:

    Let’s take a look at the whole picture. We don’t have to look very far in the past to see what a sluggish housing market will do to entire economy. With inflation becoming a concern, interest rates are starting to climb. Add the ridiculous increase in building materials and it will not take long to kill the increase we are currently enjoying. Mr. Trump, you asked for our help to get elected and received it. Now it’s time for you to return the favor and repair this problem.

  4. What Trump seems to be doing with all of our trading partners is changing the status quo. When you negotiate, whether it’s a trade deal or who’s going to do the dishes tonight, you negotiate from the status quo. Our trade partners have all enjoyed trade surpluses with the US, so negotiating new trade deals would be very difficult because the status quo is working for them. The Trump Administration is changing that status quo to be less advantageous for them. Perhaps this will lead to better trade deals to be negotiated in the future.

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