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05/25/2021

NLBMDA opposes softwood tariff hike

Association says increasing the rate to 18.32% will aggravate the affordable housing crisis.
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The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association issued a statement saying it is opposed to the Department of Commerce’s move to increase countervailing and antidumping duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports from 8.99% to 18.32% by the end of the year.

The decision by the department arrives when lumber prices are at all-time highs while placing an additional $36,000 on the cost of new single-family homes. But the move wasn't made until after numerous industry organizations as asked for lumber prices assistance from Washington.

“As the voice of the LBM Industry across the U.S., NLBMDA strongly criticizes the decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce to double tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber products and demands that the Biden administration reverse their ruling before this increase is allowed to take effect,” said Jonathan Paine, NLBMDA president and CEO. “These tariffs are a tax on American consumers and will further aggravate the affordable housing crisis afflicting communities across the country. As the U.S. economy continues to face record-high lumber price volatility and uncertainty, the Biden administration should be seeking out a permanent trade agreement with Canada that eliminates tariffs and brings long-term stability to the supply and pricing of softwood lumber.”

The association said that it is committed to working with its industry partners and allies in Congress to reverse this decision by the Department of Commerce and will continue to fight for the renewal of a Softwood Lumber Agreement with Canada.

The National Association of Home Builders has also criticized the department’s move, saying the White House has turned its back on the residential construction industry and affordable housing.