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 bow-legged bear was seen roaming 2nd Avenue on Friday, May 7 and again in Brown Drive Park on May 13. (Submitted photo)
Bow-legged Ladysmith bear euthanized after vet examination

CO Stuart Bates said the bear had obvious health issues

The Arts Council of Ladysmith and District is working with several Vancouver Island art councils on the Digitial Innovation Group to improve digital skills for Island artists. (Submitted photo)
Digital Innovation Group supports digital literacy for Island artists

The goal is to leverage digital skills to promote Vancouver Island as an ‘arts powerhouse’

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

Emergency service vehicles respond to motor vehicle incident at Highway 1 and 1st Avenue in Ladysmith. (Submitted photo)
Truck hits person using mobility scooter at northern entrance of Ladysmith

One patient was transported to hospital in stable condition

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Conservation officers transported the bear to a wildlife veterinarian in Nanaimo for examination

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

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Most Read