NAHB Welcomes Biden Administration Move to Lower Lumber Tariffs
via NAHB Now
With lumber prices experiencing extreme price volatility this year and harming housing affordability, NAHB has relentlessly been calling on the Biden administration to eliminate – or at the very least reduce – duties on Canadian lumber shipments into the United States.
Today, the Commerce Department took a positive step forward by issuing its third administrative review to reduce duties on shipments of Canadian lumber into the United States from 17.99% to 11.64%.
Following the Commerce action, NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke issued the following statement to the media:
“NAHB welcomes the Biden administration’s move to reduce duties from 17.99% to 11.64% on softwood lumber shipments from Canada into the U.S. Reducing these tariffs is an important step forward to addressing America’s growing housing affordability crisis and easing extreme price swings in the lumber market that have added more than $18,600 to the price of a new home since late summer.
“To help further address the nation’s housing affordability challenges, we encourage the Biden administration to build on today’s positive development by taking the following actions: enter into negotiations with Canada to achieve a new softwood lumber agreement that will eliminate duties; increase the domestic supply of timber from public lands in an environmentally responsible manner; and seek immediate remedies to the lumber and building materials supply chain that will increase production and lower construction costs.”
Since the Commerce Department doubled lumber tariffs from 8.99% to 17.99% last November, NAHB has led the charge to overturn this action by taking the following actions:
- At the behest of NAHB, 84 members of Congress sent a joint letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in late December expressing urgent concern regarding the Commerce Department’s recent decision to double tariffs on softwood lumber products from Canada. The letter also calls on the United States to resume talks with Canada to negotiate a new softwood lumber trade agreement.
- After consulting with NAHB and the Oklahoma home builders, Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) took to the House floor on Jan. 19 and spoke about the urgent need to take action to reduce lumber prices and tariffs.
- NAHB secured the placement of an op-ed by Chairman Chuck Fowke in the Seattle Times earlier this month highlighting the association’s fierce opposition to lumber tariffs and detailing how the tariffs effectively delivered a body blow to American home buyers, renters and businesses that rely on lumber products.
- In January, NAHB CEO Jerry Howard discussed the harmful effects of tariffs on housing affordability in appearances on Fox business shows Varney & Co. and Cavuto Coast-to-Coast and NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz discussed this issue in an NPR interview that aired on multiple radio outlets across the nation.
- In early December, NAHB leaders met with top Canadian officials at the Canadian embassy in Washington to discuss key softwood lumber issues, including the urgent need to restart negotiations on a new softwood lumber agreement that would end tariffs.
- NAHB sent a letter to President Biden on Dec. 3 calling on the White House to combat high lumber prices by engaging with Canada on a new softwood lumber agreement and increasing domestic lumber production.
Lower tariffs would mitigate uncertainty and associated volatility that has plagued the marketplace, which could help ease upward price pressure on lumber prices.
NAHB continues to work on all fronts to find solutions that will ensure a lasting and stable supply of lumber for the home building industry at a competitive price.
Learn more at nahb.org/lumber.