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Homebuilders Could Be Losers in Early Test of Trump Trade Policy

(Joe Light – Bloomberg)

A long-simmering trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada over lumber is heating up, increasing the cost of building houses and causing American businesses to hunt for supplies in other countries.

A detente between the normally friendly neighbors expired in October, and a new agreement isn’t on the horizon. That’s contributed to a more than 20 percent surge in wood prices since the U.S. election and has the U.S. poised to impose tariffs that may send prices even higher.

Since the early 1980s, the U.S. has argued with Canada over how much softwood lumber the country’s suppliers can sell in the U.S. and at what price. The two nations have negotiated temporary agreements in previous years over softwood, which comes from trees that have cones, like pine or spruce, and is preferred by builders for constructing home frames. Click here to read more.