Friday, April 07, 2006

U.S. Seeks to Settle Lumber Dispute

Canada accounts for about one-third of the U.S. market for softwood, which is easily sawed pine, spruce and other wood used in homebuilding.

A representative of the National Association of Home Builders called for an end to U.S. tariffs, which he said have raised the price of a typical U.S. house by at least $1,000.

Barry Ruttenberg of the 225,000-member home builders group said builders can't meet the need for new housing and home improvements without Canadian imports.

“Restrictions on Canadian softwood lumber do little or nothing to increase the use of U.S.-produced lumber in home construction because the vast majority of the domestic timber supply is unsuitable for framing walls in homes,” Ruttenberg said.

Lumber duties - and any potential negotiated settlement that would result in quotas or tariffs - “would do nothing to increase the use of U.S. lumber in home construction,” Ruttenberg said.

“Lumber trade restraints only serve to penalize and tax American home buyers and consumers,” he said.


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