Removal of Softwood Lumber Tariffs with Canada would affect Cost of Home Ownership

NAHB calls for Canadian softwood lumber resolution following UK steel tariff deal

By LBM Journal

March 24, 2022

The National Association of Home Builders is calling on the Biden administration to move immediately to negotiate a new softwood agreement with Canada that will end tariffs after the administration announced that it had reached a deal with the United Kingdom to lift steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by former President Donald Trump in 2018.

“Now that the administration has moved to end steel and aluminum tariffs from the United Kingdom, it must act with the same sense of urgency to negotiate a new agreement with Canada that will eliminate tariffs on softwood lumber shipped into the U.S.,” said NAHB Chairman Jerry Konter. “With the nation in the midst of a housing affordability crisis, the lumber tariffs are contributing to unprecedented price volatility that has added more than $18,600 to the price of a new home since last August. A failure to act decisively will be a bitter blow for American home buyers and for housing affordability.”

While the removal of steel and aluminum tariffs from the UK is a positive development that can help lower construction costs, the lack of any trade progress on the Canadian lumber front is especially galling, considering that NAHB has been calling for action since this latest round of tariffs went into effect during the Trump administration.

Lumber tariffs act as a tax on American home buyers and home owners and affects millions of households, NAHB says. NAHB strongly believes that the United States must return immediately to the negotiating table with Canada to reach a long-term trade agreement that will put an end to harmful tariffs and ensure that American home builders and home buyers have access to a steady supply of lumber at an affordable price.

“We will continue to sound the alarm on the harmful effects that tariffs have on housing affordability and work with our allies in Congress to hammer home an urgent message to the administration: Few things would have a more immediate impact on lumber markets than a swift resolution to America’s ongoing trade dispute with Canada over softwood lumber.”

To learn more about NAHB’s actions to address the lumber and supply chain crisis, visit


That is just plain politics and lobbyists. The same tariffs for the past four decades have not been the cause of housing inflation. It’s just an easier target than accepting that human irrational behavior waxes and wanes and at the core of everything is competition and self survival. Lumber is a pawn in the bigger chess game, but inside the lumber business, like all others, there are smaller games with everyone wanting to improve their hand.


That’s an interesting perspective, Matt. I see what you are saying. Is there potential that these tariffs will cause inflation in another sector, if not housing? Or is most inflation caused by human irrational behavior from your viewpoint?


Madison…my view point…volatility is ALWAYS irrational Human behavior. Tariffs only benefit members of Lumber Coalition, producer members with a slush check. Absolutely unnecessary. USA penalizes Canadian producers for government assistance then gives millions $$$ in tax incentives to move to America. The whole tariff mess is dragging the lumber industry around by the tail…we are exhausted.