National Association of Home Builders on Lumber Tariffs

Tariffs on Canadian lumber weighing on US home builders

National Association of Home Builders’ Jerry Howard on the impact of tariffs on home builders and housing prices.

The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) is not happy with President Donald Trump’s steep tariffs on Canadian lumber which are killing the construction industry, according to NAHB CEO Jerry Howard.

 “It’s ludicrous that a neighboring country like Canada is not being able to import into our country,” Howard told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on “Varney & Co.” on Monday. “We are importing lumber from Russia to build our American homes – it just doesn’t make sense.”

The Trump administration announced tariffs on Canadian lumber last April, which has caused the price of lumber to increase 25% from a year ago and 60% from two years ago, according to Howard.

“It’s very, very difficult for our builders absorb that kind of an increase,” he said.

The construction industry is still in recovery mode from the recession and while demand is up, the industry still has a ways to go.

“We are still only at about 66% capacity,” Howard said.

The tariffs have also created availability issues.

“Because of these tariffs lumber coming across the border from Canada is coming at a slower pace and it’s really holding up the construction process, which also adds to the cost,” Howard said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Published by Angie Hedgepeth

Angie Hedgepeth, Government Affairs Director for the Association, attends all the local meetings each month, as well as NAR and NCAR meetings, and keeps members abreast of the multiple issues being addressed in local, state and national government. She prepares reports on the meetings she attends and they are included in the weekly "Government Affairs Update".