Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas, today issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Commerce Department's final decision to impose countervailing and anti-dumping duties averaging 20.83 percent on Canadian lumber imports:
"Today's move by the Commerce Department to impose duties averaging 20.83 percent on Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. could not have come at a worse time. Home builders and home owners are already dealing with the monumental rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of the devastating hurricane season and California wildfires. This tariff only adds to the burden by harming housing affordability and artificially boosting the price of lumber. It is nothing more than a thinly-disguised tax on American home buyers, home builders and consumers.
"This is particularly disappointing given that NAHB met recently with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to express our concerns on this issue. Unfortunately, the administration is taking protectionist measures to support domestic lumber producers at the expense of millions of U.S. home buyers and lumber consumers. This is an especially hard blow at a time when the housing sector is still struggling to regain its footing and grappling with rebuilding efforts following these natural disasters
"Lumber is a major component in new home construction and one-third of the lumber used in the U.S. last year was imported. The bulk of the imported lumber - more than 95 percent - came from Canada.
"Canada and the U.S. need to work cooperatively to achieve a long-term, stable solution in lumber trade that provides for a consistent and fairly priced supply of lumber.
"On the domestic front, policymakers need to take steps that will help U.S. lumber firms to meet domestic demand. Those efforts must include better and more active management of our federally-owned forests to promote healthier forest which currently face imminent danger posed by insects, disease and catastrophic wildfire damage.
"These actions will help to calm volatile lumber markets and ensure a reliable and affordable supply of lumber for American consumers."