Hurricane Katrina may be able to do what years of squabbling, negotiations and trade panel rulings have failed to do…lift the duties on imports of Canadian softwood lumber to the U.S. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Dan Karpenchuk explains:
Hurricane Katrina may be able to do what years of squabbling, negotiations, and trade panel rulings have failed to do: lift the duties on imports of Canadian softwood lumber to the U.S. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Dan Karpenchuk explains:
There are concerns in the U.S. that the huge job of rebuilding New Orleans in the wake of the hurricane could lead to spikes in the cost of construction materials.
The U.S. Treasury Department says it will monitor the situation, and if it’s in the best public interest, then it could drop the tariffs on Canadian lumber. Jamie Lim is with the Ontario Forest Industries Association. Lim says it would be the best move for all.
“Katrina was a natural disaster, but the illegal tariffs that have been put on lumber over the last twenty years is a man-made disaster, and it’s U.S. consumers who’ve been paying the price.”
Canada provides up to a third of the softwood lumber used in construction in the U.S., but for the past four years, Canadian producers have been paying more than twenty-five percent in tariffs and punitive duties.
That’s estimated to have increased the average cost of a house by about a thousand dollars.
For the GLRC, I’m Dan Karpenchuk.