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NAHB forms free lumber trade coalition

April 1, 2016 - With the expiration of the U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement last fall, NAHB is forming a coalition that is committed to providing American consumers access to a stable, dependable and affordable supply of lumber and building materials.

The American Alliance of Lumber Consumers (AALC) supports free trade in lumber and building materials. Access to lumber and other readily available building materials and products allows home builders to provide safe, decent and affordable housing at competitive prices.

NAHB believes any new agreement must be mindful of the U.S. housing market and ensure American consumers of lumber have access to a stable, dependable and affordable supply. The current share of Canadian imported lumber in the U.S. market is 28 per cent (three-year average), and any new trade agreement has the great potential to disrupt the stability of the market and reduce the current share of imports.

AALC believes restrictive trade agreements that impose, quotas, tariffs and other border tax measures have the potential to create large and unpredictable swings in the cost and supply of lumber and other key building materials, which hurts housing affordability.

Currently, the U.S. and Canada are engaged in a “cooling off” period until Oct. 12, 2016, during which no trade disputes can be filed by either country regarding softwood lumber imports. The two nations have agreed to submit a report within the next 100 days looking at all options for a long-term agreement.

As the U.S. government formulates its trade policies, AALC believes it should allow home builders, other downstream industries and consumers to participate in the process and acknowledge the important role that they play in the U.S. economy.

In addition to NAHB, founding members of the AALC include the National Retail Federation and the National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association.

April 1, 2016  By NAHB

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