NAHB condemns ‘unwanted tax hike’ on home buyers
December 1, 2021 | 10:31 am CST

The NAHB said that tariffs on Canadian softwood imports will add house costs.

Photo By NAHB

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Home Builders condemned the Commerce Department’s approval to nearly double tariffs on Canadian lumber shipped to the U.S., calling it an “unwanted tax hike on American home buyers and renters."

The NAHB’s statement comes after a lumber coalition applauded the tariff increase. That story can be read here.

NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke said that the country was already in the midst of a housing affordability crisis and doubling the tariffs to 17.9 percent only adds to housing costs.

“This is the worst time to add needless housing costs onto the backs of hardworking American families," he said. "Home builders are grappling with lumber and other building material supply chain bottlenecks that are raising construction costs. And consumers are dealing with rising inflation that is pushing mortgage interest rates higher.

Fowke said that this decision undermines the “historic funding commitment” made to housing in the Build Back Better legislation and erodes efforts by Commerce Secretary Raimondo and other Biden administration officials to tackle the lumber and building materials supply issues plaguing the industry.  

“Doubling the tariffs will only exacerbate market volatility, put upward pressure on lumber prices and make housing more expensive,” Fowke said. 

“Rather than placating China and Europe with sweetheart trade deals," he continued, "the White House needs to change course and move immediately to engage with our Canadian partners on a long-term solution to the trade dispute that will end tariffs and help restore price stability to the lumber market.”

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).