NAHB leaders met with top Canadian officials on Dec. 3 at the Canadian embassy in Washington to discuss key softwood lumber issues. NAHB CEO Jerry Howard and Chief Lobbyist Jim Tobin held productive talks with Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng, Ambassador Kirsten Hillman and members of the Canadian parliament regarding the Commerce Department's recent action to double tariffs on Canadian lumber imports from 9% to 18% and on the need to restart negotiations on a new softwood lumber trade agreement.
[caption id="attachment_22375" align="aligncenter" width="450"] From far left, NAHB CEO Jerry Howard and Chief Lobbyist Jim Tobin discuss lumber issues with top Canadian officials at the Canadian embassy in Washington.[/caption]
The tariffs harm housing affordability by acting as a tax on American home builders and home buyers, and contribute to huge price volatility in the lumber market by putting upward pressure on lumber prices.
Canadian officials expressed an interest in restarting lumber trade talks that will lead to a long-term stable solution in lumber trade that will eliminate tariffs and provide for a consistent and fairly priced supply of lumber.
In a related development, NAHB sent a letter to President Biden
on Dec. 3 opposing the the Department of Commerce's decision to double tariffs on Canadian lumber and warned that this action "threatens housing affordability."
NAHB called on Biden "to take quick action by your administration to combat high lumber prices by engaging with Canada on a new softwood lumber trade agreement and increasing domestic lumber production."