NAHB Condemns Commerce Action to Double Tariffs on Canadian Lumber

Filed in Advocacy, Material Costs by on November 24, 2021 23 Comments

In a blow to housing affordability and a move strongly opposed by NAHB, the Commerce Department today moved forward today with its next administrative review to double the tariffs on Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. from 9% to 17.9%.

In response to the Commerce action, NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke issued the following statement:

“With the nation in the midst of a housing affordability crisis, the Biden administration has moved to slap a huge, unwanted tax hike on American home buyers and renters by doubling the tariffs on Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. This is the worst time to add needless housing costs onto the backs of hardworking American families. Home builders are grappling with lumber and other building material supply chain bottlenecks that are raising construction costs. And consumers are dealing with rising inflation that is pushing mortgage interest rates higher.

“This decision undermines the historic funding commitment made to housing in the Build Back Better legislation and erodes efforts by Commerce Secretary Raimondo and other Biden administration officials to tackle the lumber and building materials supply issues plaguing the industry.  Doubling the tariffs will only exacerbate market volatility, put upward pressure on lumber prices and make housing more expensive. Rather than placating China and Europe with sweetheart trade deals, the White House needs to change course and move immediately to engage with our Canadian partners on a long-term solution to the trade dispute that will end tariffs and help restore price stability to the lumber market.”


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Comments (23)

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  1. At a time when much of Western Canada is cut off from the rest of Canada due to major flooding, it absolutely horrifies me that our Government could be so blinded by greed to cut off one of the only ways they have of earning the money it will take to rebuild. I am willing to pay more for lumber, but I want it to go to the people who work hard to produce that lumber, not a blindly greedy US government. I am sickened by this!!!

  2. Bob Hanbury says:

    What are they thinking?
    Another inflation nail inflicted on our economy with a sledge hammer reducing affordability further.
    Discouraging leadership shown.

  3. Boyd Buchanan says:

    In June NAHB reported that Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo acknowledged the depth of the lumber price crisis and its effects on the residential construction industry, home buyers, and renters.

    Evidently she was not sincere.

  4. Phil Nanula says:

    How can this administration acknowledge that there is a national housing crisis including affordable housing and entertain even saying this publicly. Anyone in this industry knows that this will result in immediate price increases. This is the last thing this industry needs considering the upward cost increases across the board including supply shortages. It continues to prove that this administration has an agenda they plan on implementing no matter what the economy is experiencing. NAHB needs to step up their efforts to expose how out of touch the Biden administration is.

    • Nicole says:

      Not only out of touch, completely inept.

      This Administration is killing businesses with its poor fiscal and regulatory business decisions.

      Incredibly terrible decisions.

  5. Please keep me informed. thank you

  6. MIKE says:


    • Charles Hoffmann says:

      The U.S. says Canadian lumber producers dump their product into the U.S. at a lower price than American lumber companies can because they are subsidized. So the U.S. puts a tariff on all softwood lumber from Canada to raise its price at the retail level, which encourages consumers to buy American wood.

      • Harvey Ray Burch says:

        and then they do everything they can think of to make it harder for the US to bring our lumber to market , those running our government are trying to destroy the the best place in the world for people to live we all need to campaign to relieve them of their position

    • Mark Turner says:

      Great question Mike. This country has done everything possible to stamp out the domestic lumber and wood products industry through onerous regulation, ineffective environmental law, and horrible forest management policies which resulted in millions of acres of valuable timber that could have been harvested going up in flames. This country is currently being run by people who don’t know what they are doing or understand how our economy works.

    • Scott Delaney says:

      To keep americans working. Unfortunately there is no one to hire.

  7. Mike, the administration wants to bolster our own lumber industry.

  8. Dana says:

    From Fortune Magazine – “In 2017, the Donald Trump administration, citing unfair trade practices, oversaw an increase in the Canadian lumber tariff to 20%. To help alleviate soaring lumber prices, the administration cut the tariff to the current level of 9% at the end of 2020. But the more recent procedural review by the Commerce Department—which finds that Canada is still heavily subsidizing its timber industry—puts a higher duty back on the table.”

    I guess US Lumber very happy – I don’t know the right answer but just FYI

  9. Marty Smith says:

    the Trade agreement expired in 2016 with Canada ; Trump then imposed a 20% tariff on Canadian lumber and up to 24% on specific lumber. We discussed it many times when prices were going through the roof. I’m not sure on this but as I recall it came back down recently but I guess its back up again.

  10. First I would like to know why this is being done. It is certainly not for the good of the economy. Something is pushing this and I would like to know who is going to benefit from this ridiculous move?

  11. Terry Schwimmer says:

    If lumber producers in our country can’t or won’t keep up with demand, we need Canadian lumber and not more roadblocks.

  12. Tom Panek says:

    Our industry has taken a severe hit since Trump first increased the tariff on soft lumber products being imported from Canada, as part of his plan to “bring our industries home (Make America Great), at a time when domestic lumber producers couldn’t keep up with the increased demand. That, coupled with an existing building labor shortage, doubled the price of lumber overnight. Then the pandemic hit. Production all but ceased and supply chains were interrupted, which pushed the price up to $1700+/1000board feet, as we all know. Lumber prices started to fall, but once again have shot up due to continued supply chain interruptions. Any builder will tell you that the domestic lumber industry isn’t doing the job. And now the Biden administration doubles the tariff on Canadian lumber? At a time when the available inventory of single family homes is below the nationwide demand and affordable housing is out of reach of the average homebuyer, the last thing we need is another increase in building costs. Build Back Better may have bringing industry back into the U.S. as part of its plan to increase the labor market and provide more jobs. But with so many jobs already available, someone in Washington needs to understand that increasing this tariff is only going to exacerbate the current situation. I don’t get it.

  13. Tariffs; a tax increase, paid by the consumer through supply chain USA importers before the material is released at the boarder. The tariff money goes into the US Treasury just like a tax. Tariff, income for government. Tariffs have been used by elected officials to claim NO Tax Increases. The word Tariffs needs to be called “TAX INCREASE TARIFFS to make clear our representatives in Congress, The Executive Branch and the Judiciary and pull back the curtain on tax increases.
    I oppose raising cost (tax through Tariffs) by calling this TARIFF anything other than a TAX on American consumers. What is worse is when $100 has 17.5% added to cost at our boarder, it goes through the Supply chain. 25% per stop plus freight. = $229.31 6% sales tax $13.23@6% $242.53 + Freight @10% $24.25 = $266.78 Example by Author.

  14. Don says:

    This is misleading. NO Presidential administration has the authority to impose tariffs. They may suggest or agree but that is it. Trump did not put on the last one even though he took the credit and Biden can not but I assume will take the credit.


    Increasing the tariffs on lumber has got to be the worst idea any Administration could come up with! Have they seen the current lumber prices or are they completely out of touch with reality?

  16. Michele says:

    Wow – some very helpful explanations of the what and why if tariffs – but in the end we the people pay the price of incredibly poor leadership at the executive level that only puts more pressure on business and consumers to keep the economy healthy. When you do the math, this is simply not sustainable. Our voices need to be much louder and clear at the polls in 2022.

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