CITAC: MORE DOWNSTREAM INDUSTRIES TO SUFFER FROM PROTECTIONISM
New restrictions on Canadian softwood lumber another setback
Washington, DC - Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC) Chairman Jon Jenson today called new restrictions on Canadian softwood lumber, "another protectionist action by a supposedly free-trade Administration."
"American users of steel have just been socked with 30% tariffs on steel imports. Now American users of lumber and their customers, American homebuyers and their families, will be hit with 29 percent duties," Jenson stated, reacting to news that the Department of Commerce has decided to impose an antidumping duty of 9.67% and a countervailing duty of 19.34% on softwood lumber from Canada, for a total of 29.01%.
"Unfortunately, there is a recurring theme in the lumber and steel decisions. Lumber from Canada imported for homebuilding and other purposes is not the same as, and cannot be replaced by, U.S. southern pine. Just like there are no steel mills that make every kind of steel that's needed by American manufacturers," continued Jenson.
Industries dependent on open markets for lumber include, among others, homebuilders, remodelers, lumber dealers, furniture manufacturers, makers of shelving and many other home accessories.
The U.S. Census Bureau has determined that a 29.01% tax on all softwood lumber imports would mostly impact first-time home buyers and lower income families seeking affordable housing, making more than 400,000 of them ineligible for mortgages.
"Canada has a solid case to take to NAFTA and the World Trade Organization and I think they intend to follow through. This decision is wrong-headed: it hurts too many Americans, including downstream manufacturers and their 7 million employees, and sadly, American families," concluded Jenson.
CITAC is a coalition of companies and organizations committed to promoting a trade arena where U.S. consuming industries and their workers have access to global markets for imports that enhance the international competitiveness of U.S. firms.