According to an article from the Canada Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian lumber companies are seeing record revenues despite heavy tariffs from the U.S.
So, who’s getting the short end of the board foot? None other than U.S. consumers.
“The demand for lumber has been very, very strong, even with a 20.33% duty,” said Susan Yurkovich, president of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council.
Yukovich said the intense demand for Canadian lumber is being fuelled by a sizzling hot American housing market. Lumber producers in the U.S. are unable to keep up with domestic demand, so homebuilders have been looking to Canada to fill the gap. “Right now, we’re experiencing a strong market, so we are able to pass those duties on to U.S. consumers.”
According to the National Association of Home Builders, the tariffs have caused home prices in the U.S. to jump by an average of $9,000 per home.
“I don’t think it’s fair,” NAHB CEO Jerry Howard told CBC News.
“For every $1,000 increase in the price of a house, 150,000 people are priced out of the market. This is having a serious impact on housing affordability, and it is having a serious impact on the home building sector as an economic force,” he added.
Members of the NAHB met with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Tuesday in the hopes of convincing him to end the tariffs.
“It is essential that the two sides resume talks and hammer out a long-term solution to this trade dispute that will ensure U.S. homebuilders have access to a stable supply of lumber at reasonable prices to keep housing affordable for hard-working American families,” NAHB Chairman Randy Noel said in a statement.