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NAHB: More cuts to lumber tariffs needed

Following recent Commerce Department cuts to tariffs on Canadian lumber imports from 20% to 9%, the National Association of Home Builders says further cuts are needed to stabilize supply and bring down costs.

Chuck Fowke, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a custom home builder from Tampa, Fla., issued the following statement after the Commerce Department lowered duties on Canadian lumber shipments into the United States:

“The Commerce Department’s action to reduce duties from more than 20% to 9% on softwood lumber shipments from Canada into the U.S. is a positive development, but more needs to be done. Tariffs have contributed to unprecedented price volatility in the lumber market in 2020, leading to upward pressure on prices and harming housing affordability for American consumers. The U.S. needs to work with Canada to end the tariffs and achieve a long-term, stable solution in lumber trade that provides for a consistent and fairly priced supply of lumber.”

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NAHB points out that lumber prices have gone down a bit at $560 per thousand board feet from the peak price above $950 per thousand board feet in September. Still, current prices are at an “extremely high historical level,” the NAHB says.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Lumber Coalition announced in a press release that the U.S. Department of Commerce confirmed that Canadian softwood lumber is heavily subsidized and dumped into the U.S. market by issuing a combined anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duty “administrative review” rate of 8.81%.

The Commerce Department initiated the second administrative review in March 2020, covering Canadian lumber imports in 2019. A preliminary determination for the second administrative review is expected in late January 2021, the U.S. Lumber Coalition says.

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