Biden Joins the Lumber Trade Wars – How not to fight inflation: raise home building costs by doubling tariffs

By the Editorial Board
The Wall Street Journal
November 29, 2021
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

President Biden says he feels your pain regarding inflation, and he’s made public-relations moves to show it. …Too bad his Administration’s policies reveal different priorities. Witness the Commerce Department’s decision to raise tariffs on lumber, which will raise building costs in an already strained housing market. …For decades U.S. sawmills haven’t been able to meet domestic demand, but they’ve leaned on government to protect their market share. Now the Biden Administration is taking up their cause, squeezing imported wood. …“This is exactly what must happen for further expansion of U.S. softwood lumber manufacturing and jobs,” said U.S. Lumber Coalition co-chair Jason Brochu. That’s what tariff beneficiaries always say as they charge customers more amid limited supply. There’s rarely a good time for trade restrictions, but the timing of this one is tragicomical. The same month Commerce revealed its tariff plan, lumber hit a record price. [to access the full story a WSJ subscription is required]

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