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

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Police working to identify the two bodies found in Naramata

Expect big police presence in the area this week as the investigation continues

Keremeos RCMP reported May 12, 2021 that missing man Nathan Bell, 38, has been found safe. (Contributed)
Missing Keremeos man found safe

Nathan Bell, 38, was last seen April 29 before being located

The area around the Christie Mountain wildfire that was restricted to the public is no longer restricted effective at 12 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (BC Wildfire photo)
The area around where the Christie Mountain wildfire took place is officially restricted to the public effective May 12. (BC Wildfire photo)
Damage from Christie Mountain wildlife closes area to the public

It’s been closed to allow the area to recover

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

The City of Vernon is taking a close look at six high-priority Okanagan Lake access points, including three sites along Tronson Road (pictured above) in May 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon council looking closely at Okanagan Lake access points

Six access points have been identified as ideal for recreation

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press Media file)
More than 40% of Central Okanagan residents have received 1st vaccine dose

Local clinics have administered 81,247 first doses to Central Okanagan residents

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Michelle St. Pierre, UBCO’s 2021 graduate student researcher of the year, is hoping to change the discussion surrounding the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs. (UBCO photo)
UBCO researcher examining therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs

Michelle St. Pierre has been researching the use of psychedelics since 2015

Most Read