A load of lumber is hauled down Highway 3 in southern B.C., the province that supplies about half of U.S. exports to the U.S. (B.C. government photo)

A load of lumber is hauled down Highway 3 in southern B.C., the province that supplies about half of U.S. exports to the U.S. (B.C. government photo)

U.S. home builders call for end to Canadian lumber trade war

U.S. Lumber Coalition says duties a small part of record price

With record North American lumber costs pushing home prices to new heights, the U.S. National Association of Home Builders has called on President Joe Biden’s administration to reach a long-term trade deal on Canadian softwood trade.

In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Home Builders chairman John Fowkes said his 140,000 member builders have seen lumber prices triple since April 2020. Fowkes noted he made a similar appeal to the Donald Trump administration and the lumber trade situation is more pressing today, as COVID-19-restricted homeowners have added their renovation projects to the demand.

“The anti-dumping and countervailing duties currently in place on imported softwood lumber from Canada are aggravating already high lumber prices, and tariffs on other products are also contributing to higher construction costs, leading to more expensive housing,” Fowkes wrote in late April.

Lumber prices reached a new record Monday, with trading futures for May delivery reaching more than $1,500 per thousand board feet. B.C. lumber producers, responsible for half of Canada’s export output, are reaping profits despite the continued U.S. duties, and home buyers, builders and renovators are paying the price.

In November 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce reduced the rate for countervailing duties on Canadian lumber to below 10 per cent. The latest round of trade penalties in the 30-year-long campaign by the U.S. Lumber Coalition initially resulted in its heaviest duties on B.C. producers, more than 20 per cent on West Fraser, Tolko and Canfor lumber.

The U.S. Lumber Coalition has fired back at the Home Builders, arguing that import duties are having a “near-zero impact” on home buyers, and that high demand and lack of supply are the main drivers of lumber prices.

RELATED: Reduced U.S. lumber duties still unfair, Ottawa says

RELATED: U.S. lumber trade duties return like ‘Groundhog Day’


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicssoftwood lumber

Just Posted

An artist’s rendering of the new emergency services building. (Photo submitted by Town of Creston)
Creston’s town council provides update on future emergency services building

Construction on the facility is expected to be complete in spring 2022

North Okanagan business Hytec Kohler set up a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Spallumcheen plant Friday, May 14. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
More than half of eligible adults in Interior Health vaccinated

Over 365,000 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the Interior Health region

New Border Bruins owner Dr. Mark Szynkaruk reps team colours with his young sons and wife Tracey. Photo courtesy of the Grand Forks Border Bruins
KIJHL’s Border Bruins sold to Grand Forks doctor

The league announced the sale Friday, May 14

You can help pollinators on their quest by planting native species in your garden. (Pixabay)
E-Tips: Hello from the Creston Climate Action Society

Welcome to the first official E-Tips column

On April 27, town officials gathered at 1505 Cook Street to break ground at the site for the new emergency services building. From left to right: Councillor Arnold DeBoon, Mayor Ron Toyota, Councillor Joanna Wilson, Assistant Fire Chief Laura Dodman, Councillor Jen Comer, and Councillor Jim Elford. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Breaking ground for the new Creston Emergency Services Building

On April 27, town officials gathered at the construction site with shovels ceremoniously in hand

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Letters to the Editor. (Black Press file photo)
Letter to the Editor: Petition on Proposed RDCK Bylaw Amendments

“If these proposed bylaw amendments are implemented, the Trails Society may be forced to close Riverside Wilderness Park to public access.”

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Most Read