NAHB Applauds Lumber Ruling

NAHB Applauds Lumber Ruling

Washington, DC Last month's ruling by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) calling on the International Trade Commission (ITC) to reconsider whether the domestic lumber industry faces a threat from Canadian softwood lumber shipments is "good news for American home buyers and lumber consumers," according to the National Association of Home Builders.

In May of 2002, the ITC ruled that the U.S. lumber industry was threatened with injury by imports from Canada. That action triggered 27% tariffs on Canadian lumber imports, "which have harmed housing affordability," said NAHB first v.p. Bobby Rayburn.

Last month's NAFTA decision "essentially states that the ITC did not provide adequate explanation or support for its finding that the domestic lumber industry faced a 'threat of injury' from Canadian softwood lumber imports, according to Rayburn.

"The NAFTA decision ordering the ITC to revisit the issue follows similar rulings by the international trade body stating that the current countervailing and anti-dumping duties on imports of Canadian softwood lumber are based on invalid calculations that Canadian producers are subsidized," said Rayburn. "The ITC now has an opportunity to objectively review the facts and make the right decision that allegations of alleged Canadian subsidies has no merit, and that Canadian trade practices offer no threat of injury to the U.S. industry."

A new ruling by the ITC affirming no threat of injury would result in the elimination of the tariffs. A decision is expected shortly.