At the behest of NAHB, 171 members of Congress this week sent a joint letter to the Trump administration calling on the U.S. to resume talks with Canada to negotiate a new softwood lumber trade agreement.
NAHB Chairman Randy Noel applauded the bipartisan group of lawmakers “for taking a stand for homeownership.”
In an official statement, Noel added that “the current situation is clearly unacceptable. Tariffs averaging more than 20% on Canadian softwood lumber shipments into the U.S. are contributing to rising market volatility and record-high lumber prices that are making it harder for millions of Americans to afford a home.”
Since the beginning of last year, rising lumber prices — made worse by tariffs on imported Canadian softwood lumber — have increased the price of an average single-family home by nearly $9,000.
Not only is this harming housing affordability, it has also knocked close to 1.4 million potential home buyers out of the housing market.
The congressional letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer does not take sides in this trade dispute. It simply highlights the urgent need for the U.S. and Canada to renew negotiations in an effort to come to an equitable solution that will satisfy all sides — including domestic industries and consumers — that rely on softwood lumber for their economic well-being.
Read the letter here.
For more information, contact Alex Strong at 800-368-5242 x8279.