Lumber Supply and Housing Affordability
American lumber producers are capable of providing most of the domestic demand for lumber, but are handcuffed by unfairly traded Canadian imports. In 2005, U.S. softwood lumber producers and workers produced enough lumber to supply 85 percent of today’s demand. The Canadian subsidies led to a flood on the market of excess Canadian lumber and as a result, U.S. producers until recently only supplied about two-thirds of U.S. lumber demand. That is slowly changing. Freed from unfair trade, U.S. industry grew and produced 2 billion board feet more lumber in 2018 than it did in 2016, offsetting the 1.4 billion board feet decline in Canadian imports. More U.S. homes are now being built with American lumber by American workers. While fair trade may add a minuscule increase in the price of a new home – around $2 per month, the cost of unfair trade to U.S. jobs and the U.S. economy is incalculable.
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