House Hearing Highlights Need to Resolve Trade Disputes That Harm Housing

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During a House Ways and Means Committee hearing today on U.S.-China trade, Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) cited concerns raised by NAHB that tariffs on Chinese goods act as a $1 billion tax on residential construction and are exacerbating the affordable housing crisis. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer responded to Thompson’s question on housing affordability by talking about softwood lumber. In an official statement, NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde commended Thompson for raising this issue. Ugalde also stated that Lighthizer’s response highlighted the need for quick action to resolve ongoing trade disputes. "Lighthizer’s reply essentially confirms that tariffs on imports of Canadian lumber; steel and aluminum; and hundreds of products from China commonly used in U.S. residential construction are contributing to the rising cost of building materials," said Ugalde. "These higher costs are putting homeownership out of reach of working American families. The administration must resolve these trade conflicts in a manner that will provide a fair deal to American home buyers and businesses." As NAHBNow reported earlier this week, President Trump announced on Feb. 24 that he would delay a scheduled tariff hike from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports that was set to go into effect on March 2.  The office of the U.S. Trade Representative has released a Federal Register notice stating that the duties will remain at 10% “until further notice.” Preventing the 25% jump in tariffs represent an important win for NAHB and the residential construction sector. View the video exchange between Thompson and Lighthizer above. For more information, contact Alex Strong at 800-368-5242 x8279.

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