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

Coldstream Fire Department was quick to arrive and knock down a fire Sunday, May 16, in a Matner Lane orchard just up the hill from the firehall on Aberdeen Road. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Coldstream fire crews quick to knock down blaze

Fire broke out just before 2:30 p.m. on Matner Lane, which is just up the hill from the firehall on Aberdeen Road

Crews battled a grass fire behind the Tolko mill along the railway tracks off Otter Lake Cross Road in Spallumcheen Monday, April 26. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star file)
Reports of man lighting Vernon fires with blowtorch

Grassfires sparked near train tracks, behind bottle depot

Frame Custom Homes, based in Kelowna, won top prize, design Excellence, at the Canadian Home Builders' Association's 2021 digital gala May 7, 2021, and best detached custom home over 5,000 square feet for Lakeside Haven in Vernon. (Contributed)
Builder’s custom Kelowna, Vernon homes win national prize

4 bed, 6 bath Vernon home complete with pool, putting green and elevator a Lakeside Haven

A number of undercover RCMP vehicles were spotted at a residence off Westside Road the morning of Tuesday, May 18. (Contributed)
UPDATE: One in custody following Westside firearm standoff

There is no longer a risk to the public but RCMP remain on scene

Christie Tujik (clockwise), Philipp Gruner, Julie Melanson and Jenelle Brewer are vying for a seat on the Vernon School Board. (Contributed)
Vernon school trustee candidates face off in forum

Voters in Vernon, BX and Silver Star can join May 18 virtual meeting

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

A thunderstorm, with lightning, pictured in Fraser Valley in 2021. (Black Press Media/Jaimie Grafstrom)
Wildfire concerns sparked after 320+ lightning strikes blasted B.C. yesterday

Approximately one-quarter of the province is currently listed as being at moderate risk of fires

WorkSafe BC is out in the Interior making sure wineries, cideries and breweries are adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols. (File photo)
WorkSafe visiting Interior wineries, cideries and breweries ahead of tourist tasting season

40 field inspections and 35 consultations are expected over next few weeks

B.C. RCMP released these two photos of Erick Fryer (left) and Carlo Fryer (right). The two brothers from Kamloops were found dead near a remote road in Naramata May 10, 2021. (RCMP photo)
Slain Kamloops brothers found near Penticton not likely connected to recent B.C. gang wars: RCMP

Police confirm the bodies found near Naramata as Erick Fryer, 29, and Carlo Fryer, 31

Several RCMP cruisers stationed out front of Kelowna’s Global Fitness following a shooting on the morning of Monday, March 29. The shooting was later revealed to be gang-related. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
B.C.’s top gangs are operating in Kelowna: RCMP

‘We have all of the major gangs in Kelowna,’ said Supt. Kara Triance

Kelowna RCMP precinct. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News file)
Kelowna RCMP promotion process tainted with bias: federal judge

An officer was passed over for a promotion in 2015

A restaurant server on White Rock’s Marine Drive serves customers on a roadside patio. Indoor dining and recreational travel bans have been in effect since late March in B.C. (Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate falls to 411 cases Tuesday

360 people in hospital, up slightly, two more deaths

The Banff National Park entrance is shown in Banff, Alta., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Minister asks Canadians to camp carefully in national parks as season starts

Kitchen shelters in Banff National Park closed, trails on Vancouver Island will only be one-way

Names of those aboard the ship are seen at Komagata Maru monument in downtown Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The City of Vancouver has issued an apology for its racist role in denying entry to 376 passengers aboard a ship that was forced to return to India over a century ago. Mayor Kennedy Stewart says discrimination by the city had “cruel effects” on the Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims aboard the Komagata Maru, which arrived in Burrard Inlet on May 23, 1914. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says sorry for city’s role in turning away South Asians in 1914

Kennedy Stewart has declared May 23 as the annual Komagata Maru Day of Remembrance

Most Read