US lumber group warns of potential action against Canada amid trade standoff

In 2015, Canada’s softwood lumber sales to the U.S. totaled $4.6 billion, and the National Association of Home Builders said that country’s exports represented 28% of the U.S. market. Despite both governments maintaining that they want to reach an agreement, they have been unable to find enough common ground to cement a new deal. According to the NAHB, Canada’s biggest gripe is the U.S.’s desire to reduce Canada’s share of the market to 22%, phased in over a four-year period.

The NAHB maintains that the constant wood-trade disputes between the two nations have led to higher prices, and the association has recently engaged in talks with public and private groups in Chile regarding the import of wood products from that country. Chile currently has only 1.22% of the U.S. wood market. The NAHB claims that increased competition will help drive down prices, thereby boosting the American housing recovery. If American producers could keep up with demand, the association said they would prefer to buy all wood domestically.


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