Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn., issued the following statement after the NAFTA Binational Panel agreed to allow NAHB to file an amicus brief regarding the U.S.-Canada softwood lumber trade dispute:
“The fact that the NAFTA Binational Panel agreed to allow NAHB to file an amicus in support of Canada’s challenge to duties on softwood lumber imports into the U.S. represents a positive development for American consumers and housing affordability. Duties averaging more than 20 percent increase volatility in the lumber market and needlessly push up housing costs.
“The panel affirmed that ‘NAHB is uniquely situated’ to discuss ‘the issue of substitutability’ when it comes to different types of lumber used in the home construction process. We welcome the opportunity to provide this unique home building perspective to this issue. It is our hope it will serve as an impetus for the U.S. and Canada to hammer out a long-term solution to this problem that will satisfy all sides—including domestic industries and consumers—that rely on softwood lumber for their economic well-being.”