U.S. and Canada walking thin line in ongoing lumber dispute

The U.S. and Canada are walking a fine line in the softwood lumber dispute.

Last month, the Commerce Department recommended doubling the tariff to 18 percent, close to what the Trump administration imposed in 2018. The department says that Canadian lumber is unfairly subsidized because most of it is grown on public lands.

Most U.S. timber is privately harvested. Canada’s lumber trade explains how the perfect storm caught everyone off guard, leading to shortages and sky-high prices across North America.

According to Joel Neuheimer with the Forest Products Association of Canada, “Circumstances of the pandemic have created some never-seen-before dynamics. Combine that with the fact that we had an extra-long building season last winter. We didn’t have that much snow in Canada and the U.S. We’re seeing unprecedented highs in lumber prices right now. So, we’re seeing lumber prices that are four times the twenty-year average.”

The Forest Products Association of Canada says that the “Buy American Plan” makes for good politics, but is not always great for consumers.

Some house Republicans want the current 9 percent levy to end.


Lumber prices surging with no end in sight

Canada will not receive full “Buy America” exemption

Experts break down factors impacting the price of lumber

Lumber prices up more than 350 percent, according to new analysis