Industry News

Don’t rush into lumber accord with Canada, say builders

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The National Association of Home Builders trade group is urging the federal government not to rush into a lumber accord with Canada that could keep prices up and ultimately cause an increase in housing costs. Jerry Howard, executive vice president and CEO for the builders' group, said in a statement that the current framework for the agreement under consideration by the United States and Canada "could have huge long-term ramifications for the lumber market." According to an association announcement, "it is important that the two governments move in a deliberate manner to make sure that any final accord does not harm consumers and housing affordability at a time when the housing sector has already entered into a cooling down process." Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is scheduled to visit the White House on July 6, and the association has warned that it will be premature to forge an agreement at that time. The proposed deal could last for seven to nine years, and "NAHB's analysi...