Free Trade

Lumber Is Crazy Expensive Right Now. Biden Is About To Make It Worse.

The Commerce Department is planning to hike tariffs on Canadian lumber from about 9 percent to more than 18 percent.

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Amid surging lumber prices that are already adding an average of $36,000 to the construction cost of new homes, the Biden administration is moving forward with plans to double tariffs on lumber imported from Canada.

The Commerce Department announced on Friday that it was taking the first step toward hiking so-called "anti-dumping tariffs" on Canadian lumber from an average rate of 8.99 percent in 2018 to 18.32 percent for 2019. Yes, 2019. If approved through what is likely to be a lengthy review process, the tariffs would apply retroactively to purchases made for the past two years. That means American importers could be on the hook for millions of dollars in taxes they didn't even know they would owe—taxes that will likely be passed down the supply chain in the form of higher prices.

That's only the first bit of insanity here. Anti-dumping tariffs, in theory, are meant to cancel out what's seen as unfair subsidies for foreign competitors to American companies. They are supposed to be deployed in order to prevent import prices from becoming so low that they threaten domestic producers—even though there's really nothing terrible about low prices for imports.

But lumber prices are anything but low right now. In fact, they are up over 250 percent in the past year, and the price per thousand feet of board lumber just hit an all-time high.

How bad are things? So bad that lumber has become a meme.

If the Biden administration goes ahead with the plan to hike tariffs, it will be the latest bit of industrial protectionism emanating from Washington that will be paid for by Americans. While the domestic timber and lumber industries are thrilled at the prospect of artificially inflated prices for imports from Canada—the largest foreign supplier, by far, of wood into the United States—the higher tariffs will almost certainly translate into higher prices for consumers and wood-using industries.

"If the administration's decision to double tariffs is allowed to go into effect, it will further exacerbate the nation's housing affordability crisis, put even more upward pressure on the price of lumber, and force millions of U.S. home buyers and lumber consumers to foot the bill for this ill-conceived protectionist action," said Chuck Fowke, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, in a statement.

The current price surge for lumber—like similar increases for many other goods—has been triggered by a shortage of supply as pandemic-closed sawmills have been slow to reopen even while demand for lumber has steadily climbed, driven by robust demand for new housing. Import taxes aren't to blame for this mess, but they certainly aren't helping.

Even the Trump administration, which counter-productively hiked tariffs on everything from steel and aluminum to washing machines and other consumer goods, realized that much. Trump approved a lumber tariff hike in 2017, but his administration cut those duties in late 2020 amid concerns about the rising price of lumber.

High and rising lumber prices aren't just a problem for home-builders and others who need to buy large supplies of wood. Some manufacturers are concerned that tariffs are helping to drive inflation across the entire economy by artificially jacking up prices for many commodities, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

With prices skyrocketing, the best thing the federal government could do is sweep aside impediments to supply chains. Instead, the administration is erecting new barriers which will protect domestic industries.

Unfortunately, as Scott Lincicome, a Cato Institute senior fellow for trade issues, points out, the law guiding the U.S. anti-dumping tariff process explicitly forbids consideration of how new duties might impact consumers.

That, in a nutshell, is the problem with just about all tariffs. If you ignore how higher taxes on goods might harm individuals and businesses, you're not really seriously considering the consequences—you're just doing what the beneficiaries of that policy want. Policy making cannot be disconnected from economic reality, no matter how much politicians might want it to be.

Denying the reality of how tariffs work doesn't always look as buffoonish as the Trump administration often made it. Sometimes it just appears to be rote bureaucratic activity. But the result is the same, and Americans are going to keep paying the price until the Biden administration learns that.

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  1. the tariffs would apply retroactively to purchases made for the past two years

    Sullum to blame Trump shortly.

    1. Retroactive capital gains taxes will be blamed on him as well.
      Hope everyone is happy.

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    2. So POTUS Biden is doing to gasoline what he managed to do for lumber.

      Thanks Joe.

      1. I’m sure he’ll find a way to tie gas prices to white supremacy. That’s his thing now.

        1. You’re probably a white unicorn, you racist.

          1. Jfc, he is not a unicorn. He is an abattoir. Might as well call me “Chipper.”

            1. We turn the horns into stripper glitter.

            2. “Eunuch” makes the most sense for you

              1. “Asshole” does well also.

            3. How about Marxist? I can post your comment again if you want.

        2. White supremacy is the biggest terror threat facing America dint you know. Didn’t you see all those whit supremacists burning down city’s and launching fireworks at police last year. Well, maybe you couldn’t see them because they were clad in all black with masks but they were there man. They’re everywhere.

      2. Canada will pay for it.

        1. A wall.

          A giant beautiful wooden wall.

      3. He haant had ” wood” in so long…

    3. Well if it applies to 2019 it’s obviously his fault.

    4. But it is partly Trump’s fault. Some of this is driven by the inflation from his lascivious spending and covid relief packages. Biden is just fucking things up even more, because that’s what Democrats do.

      1. Insufficient denunciations of the enemy tribe! To the gulag for forced ballot recounting!

        1. Hey, DOL! Still waiting for the cite to back your bullshit claim that Ken lies!
          Been three days, can’t seem to find even one, asshole?

          1. I’m looking forward to his comment that just like with oil, none of the Presidents actions actually have an effect on the costs of lumber. Just gotta read the rest of the comments.

            1. Nope, didn’t see it. Huh.

              1. Lol. DoL was digging deep this morning.

        2. You’re a known liar. Why do you even come here? You’re a joke.

      2. You would do better to blame the prior inflation on Congress, both Democrats and Republicans. All spending originates in Congress. Every House member voted for those packages, and every Senator present (a few were self-isolating at that time with covid). A Trump veto would have been useless at that time and a political defeat he didn’t need.

        Not to say Trump was fiscally responsible, his budgets were more than Obama’s and pushed the $3 trillion mark.

        From my perspective as a libertarian, a pox on both parties.

        1. “his budgets were more than Obama’s” <— LIE…

      3. Wait, Trump usurped the Houses budgeting power and dictatorially passed his own spending bills? Why did nobody bring that up during the impeachment hearings?!

        1. That Trump wrote and forced Nancy Pelosi to claim as her own!

      4. blame spreading is so lame” Troll

    5. “Sullum to blame Trump…”

      Using geometric logic, to be sure.

      1. And, as if on cue, his latest article denounces China’s one child policy. Now that they have decided to stop it.

        He reminds me of the tour guides the last time I was in China. Sure they’d tell you about the ‘mistakes’ of the Cultural Revolution, or explain the perfidy of the Gang of Four, maybe even say some less than positive things about Mao.

        But, it didn’t take long to recognize that it was all being read from the exact same script. They might omit something here or there, but they NEVER added anything of their own.

    6. Just an anecdote, take it for what you will.

      Was on a 2 week business trip in the DELMARVA area. Passed 8, maybe 10 lumber yards.

      Every single one, from the front gate to the back gate was stacked with lumber. Hardly any room to drive around in.

      Hummm.

    7. “Even the trump administration…… cut those duties in late 2020 amid concerns about the rising price of lumber.”

      Unpossible. I’ve been assured that orange man acted out of concern for no one but himself.

      Oh, wait. He’s a developer, isn’t he? That explains it. Fucker. Good thing slo joe is reversing this policy. Awesome.

    8. Biden wants to collapse the economy. Smash capitalism and bring about communism with camps for the Trumpers using old Walmart buildings in Texas.

  2. Just so the younger members of the audience know, the Softwood Lumber disputes between Canada and the US go back to… like the 1980s?

    The Canada–U.S. softwood lumber dispute is one of the largest and most enduring trade disputes between both nations.[1] This conflict arose in 1982 and its effects are still seen today. British Columbia, the major Canadian exporter of softwood lumber to the United States, was most affected, reporting losses of 9,494 direct and indirect jobs between 2004 and 2009.[2]

    The heart of the dispute is the claim that the Canadian lumber industry is unfairly subsidized by federal and provincial governments, as most timber in Canada is owned by the provincial governments. The prices charged to harvest the timber (stumpage fee) are set administratively, rather than through the competitive marketplace, the norm in the United States. In the United States, softwood lumber lots are privately owned, and the owners form an effective political lobby. The United States claims that the Canadian arrangement constitutes an unfair subsidy, and is thus subject to U.S. trade remedy laws, where foreign trade benefiting from subsidies can be subject to a countervailing duty tariff, to offset the subsidy and bring the price of the commodity back up to market rates.

    1. Thank you for providing this historical perspective for which the author/editor chose to not include.

      I appreciate Boehm taking the free trade position, one which I used to support, but I’m not so sure anymore. I wonder if supporting free trade through tariffs (like peace through strength), to fight against governments playing favorites in commerce via tariffs, trade restrictions, and government subsidies, isn’t a better approach to achieving more freedom.

      Consider the Ultimatum Game in a trade setting. In the game, a sum of money exists (e.g. assume $1) and player A decides how much player B may get out of it with player A getting the rest of it, but if that’s not acceptable to player B, neither get anything. In experiments, unfair offers of <30% "are often rejected".

      From a trade perspective, politicians of both countries seek to get a cut of the trade profits via taxation (I'll ignore corrupt practices where some politician may have a financial interest in the exporting company, and he gets a subsidy as a result). I can see how tariffs, or the threat of them, could lead to either an escalating trade war, or an agreement to trade fairly. From an Ultimatum Game perspective, the US should get something in return that would otherwise go to foreign politicians, and preferably put it to good use (admittedly not usually the case, but we do need some government, and relatively low tariffs used to fund the feds before income taxes).

      I'm open to arguments for no tariffs, but I'm not convinced it's the best policy when foreign governments get in the trade business.

      1. I still favor unilateral removal of trade restrictions. It’s hard to get government to give up a power they are given. You make a reasonable point, I think, but I’m not confident it will actually progress to the more freedom stage.
        Abolish the income tax entirely and I could maybe get behind tariffs as a less intrusive tax.

      2. Odd. Where have I heard that before? The Trumpster, by golly. His purpose for the original tariff war was to some how force China into behaving more fairly in their protectionism and property rights violation against American business and commerce. Boem always fails to mention that too.

      3. Boehm isn’t free trade, he is for hampered trade. His articles always decry any and all US actions even if reactionary to stop things like IP theft. He almost never criticizes China or other bad actors. He believes the US should be at a disadvantage in trade deals.

      4. Well basically Canadian taxpayers are paying for our lumber. Why should we not take advantage of that if we want to make this a geopolitical thing? Use those savings to invest where we have comparative advantage instead of investing precisely where we don’t have that advantage.

    2. I think your point is thoughtful and perhaps accurate. However, we in MN do a whole lot of lumber production and it is almost exclusively harvested from State and Federally managed and owned forests, and I know that is the case in surrounding states as well. It is processed by private companies, but I don’t know how that is different than the system you describe in Canada.

      In other news, what kind of idiot would raise tariffs on lumber in this market? Especially while yammering on about affordable housing. Government might be the most useless idea ever conceived.

    3. Biden should know all about ‘ soft wood’…

  3. ” If approved through what is likely to be a lengthy review process, the tariffs would apply retroactively to purchases made for the past two years.”

    If only we lived in a country where the Constitution expressly prohibited ex post facto laws.

    1. Right– how is this possible?

      1. It’s not legally sound, but try fighting that battle against the bottomless pockets of the government in court and see what happens.

      2. For the same reason that the Executive can levy taxes even though that all taxes must arise out of the House. Because no one cares.

      3. Something, something… Commerce Clause.

    2. I imagine the courts bought into an exception to the ban on ex post facto laws for taxes, because, of course, they would.

      1. So not really a tax, but more a penalty. For not foreseeing increased taxes in the future and planning accordingly. I’ll call it, I don’t know, a penaltax? Yeah, that’s it, that’s the ticket.

      2. Same as how the iRS apparently has the right to snoop on our private bank accounts with no probable cause. Fact that this wasn’t even remarked upon suggests this must be well established exception to due process.

    3. Somehow SCOTUS decided ex post facto only applies to criminal laws so those can’t be retroactive. Since taxes are considered civil laws, retroactive changes are just fine. It’s a double bonus for gov’t when they’re taxing the dead.
      https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1994-06-14-mn-3963-story.html

      TLDR; FYTW

  4. Good and hard.

  5. The heart of the dispute is the claim that the Canadian lumber industry is unfairly subsidized by federal and provincial governments, as most timber in Canada is owned by the provincial governments. The prices charged to harvest the timber (stumpage fee) are set administratively, rather than through the competitive marketplace, the norm in the United States. In the United States, softwood lumber lots are privately owned, and the owners form an effective political lobby. The United States claims that the Canadian arrangement constitutes an unfair subsidy, and is thus subject to U.S. trade remedy laws, where
    (https://wapexclusive.com )foreign trade benefiting from subsidies can be subject to a countervailing duty tariff, to offset the subsidy and bring the price of the commodity back up to market

    1. In other words, they’re trying to send us their money, and we need to show them how outraged we are.

  6. Outside of mean tweets, there seems no issue that droolin’ Joe hasn’t made worse.

    1. Stay cool this weekend!

      Enjoy the long weekend!

  7. “________ Is Crazy Expensive Right Now. Biden Is About To Make It Worse”.

    I have a feeling we are going to be using the above sentence template a lot over the next few years. May as well just save it so it will be easy to cut and paste no matter the subject.

    Followed by the expected, “But, no mean tweets”.

    1. May I suggest this edit?

      “________ Is Crazy Expensive Right Now. Biden Made It Worse. But at least we do not have mean tweets!”

  8. I think there’s a word for when too many dollars chase too few goods… exfoliation? Infestation?

    Whatever it is, it’s impossible.

    1. They are using the trees to print more money so no problem.

      1. We’re talking about pine here. You need hardwoods to make digital numbers.

        1. Hard wood, soft wood. At his age, I’m guessing any wood at all will work for Joe.

    2. Insurrection?

    3. Erection?

  9. Remember when Joe said no family that makes less than $400,000 will pay an additional cent in taxes? He’s just going to hide all those taxes in indirect actions like this and the results are the same.

    Now that family will be paying more for their house, which in turn will raise the amount their property, and by extension their neighbors’ property, is assessed at, thus raising property taxes which are used to fund schools providing a windfall for the teachers unions and school district administrators that love all those Democratic politicians.

    I don’t know if he’s lucking into this outcome by force of sheer stupidity or really is playing nth dimensional chess…but the end result is we all face higher prices and higher taxes.

    1. Remember when Joe said no family that makes less than $400,000 will pay an additional cent in taxes?

      I think what he said was more to the effect that he won’t raise tax rates on people earning less than $400,000. He’s also stated that his plan to audit more people will raise a few trillion dollars. People who make over $400,000 don’t get audited.

      1. I know what he would say he meant.

        But what he said was “Nobody making under 400,000 bucks would have their taxes raised. Period. Bingo.” And the fact of the matter is that many people are having their taxes raised directly or indirectly through all kinds of policies so that he doesn’t have to raise the income tax rates. All the while, the government still takes in more taxes and he maintains the deniability you’re offering.

        Honest question, if he could implement Medicare for All would you say the payroll taxes required to fund it still meant he was keeping his promise?

    2. Biden isn’t doing much of anything, he’s just a prop.

  10. Is there nothing Biden can’t make worse?

  11. I think we can all agree that Biden made the #metoo movement better. All of the #metoo people shut up once they found out Biden was a rapist

    1. Cuomo is greatly relieved and thankful!

    2. He put hundreds of women out of a job over that.

  12. East Coast septuagenarian lifelong Democrat trade warriors gonna trade war, even if one needed to ride in inside a Republican Trojan Horse to further the wars.

    Repeal Trump’s tariffs! Don’t double down on the idiocy!

    1. This from the TDS-addled piece of shit who did his best to give *us* what *he* deserves.
      Fuck off and die.

  13. The Democrats’ War on the American People continues unabated. Thanks for voting for these assholes, Reason.

    1. Because the republicans put up such a great choice. Then lost the election. Well that is how elections go. One team wins. One team loses. Only this time the losing team still will not admit it.

      Don’t ask me. I voted for that nice professor lady.

      1. The racial marxist

      2. “…Only this time the losing team still will not admit it…”

        You’d be making less of an ass of yourself if you didn’t lie as much.
        Try the “investigations” regarding Trump for nearly the entire 4 years of his time in office.
        And then stuff your head up your ass; your TDS needs company.

    2. Why do we allow them to exist here? We could get rid of them in a month.

  14. I can’t wait until my family’s child “tax credit” payments start coming this summer. I wonder how much extra food it will buy us this time next year. A can of beans? Loaf of bread? Possibly both? Thanks, Creepy Uncle Joe!

  15. Ineffectual performative whining.

    It’s what “libertarians” do when there is a Democrat in office.

    1. (There will be no mea culpas)

  16. Downward sloping demand curve—if Canadian lumber is more expensive, why wouldn’t Americans buy the cheaper American lumber?

    From Canadian firm’s perspective, would it be better to raise prices and lose sales, or maintain competitive prices? If the latter, doesn’t the Canadian producer pay the tariff?

    1. No. Tariffs are a tax paid by the consumer, no matter how you spin it.

      1. Guess you have to make it to 2nd semester economics to learn about supplier shifts.

    2. Supply.

      There is not enough American lumber to meet demand. Raising the import cost of Canadian lumber has predictable consequences.

      1. there is plenty of American lumber but many enviro wacky states like California would rather see it burn up in smoke than let people use it to make homes

    3. The tariffs allow the U.S. companies to charge a higher price. We pay.

      1. Isn’t that contrary to how markets work though? Low cost producers can offer lower prices and competition drives prices lower, not higher. With tariffs, U.S. producers become lower cost producers relative to Canadian competitors.

        1. But as others have pointed out, the supply is the problem and keeps prices high right now when demand is high.
          If there was a glut of softwood lumber on the market and US producers couldn’t make any money because of cheap imports, then this might make sense in some way. But right now it’s insane.

    4. What’s the incentive to increase production? Supply goes up & prices drop and they’re producing more lumber for the same profit. Why bother when they can blame the Govt for its stupidity?

  17. Trump’s tariffs were 81 dimensional chess, setting a path to free trade. This is totally different because it isn’t Trump.

  18. 1. how in teh hell is back terrifs even legal
    2. this doesn’t help American lumber companies it helps Chinese companies. how all west coast lumber is put on ships and sent to 200 miles off the coast where it is processed by Chinese companies in international waters and sent back and all the profits go to China which I’m sure Biden was told to do this by his friends in China.

    this is effing stupid and nothing similar to Trumps tarrifs

    1. Also that last two democrat presidents kept this nation in a recession and i think Biden wants to top their repressive efforts

    2. So now Home Depot can barely keep enough stock in plywood and 2x4s at triple the price because you want to punish this individual you know named “China”. I pay for that.

      1. “I pay for that.”

        Sure you do, you ignorant leech.

        1. Subsidizing china imports = punishing? Huh; that’s a new one.

  19. Can we retroactively get rid of a few recent president such as Biden, Trump, Obama and the list goes on? Perhaps to a time before the new deal when there were individual rights Of course there were some good stuff to come out on the past 75 years, but in reference to the ever expanding size of government there has been a stead progression from, bad to worse to bat $%^& crazy

    1. Yea, just keep “both sidez!”ing it.
      I’m sure that’ll work one of these days.

  20. Denying the reality of how tariffs work doesn’t always look as buffoonish as the Trump administration often made it. Sometimes it just appears to be rote bureaucratic activity.

    “It is better to look good than to feel good.”
    Fernando Lamas, SNL (1984)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0RTD7250II

  21. “… taxes that will likely be passed down the supply chain in the form of higher prices.”

    Ya think?

    I know two people trying to build houses right now and it is nothing but a series of very expensive horror stories due to price increases and shortages.

  22. That’s OK. Biden will simply announce his $1.7 Lumber Assistance Bill. It just boggles the mind that some of the people at Reason voted for this guy. Perhaps they need to move to CNN.

    1. 5 years of pushing Twitter narratives should not make anyone surprised about their nature.

  23. “ even though there’s really nothing terrible about low prices for imports”

    Just a taste Johnny. This one’s on me.

  24. Retroactive taxes are repulsive. Basically the government gets to f*ck you no matter how good of a “tax planner” you are. Never mind trying to make sound financial decisions based on current law / regulations.

    It’s idiocy like this that makes it easy to believe in conspiracy theories like “they want to destroy this country.”

    1. Well Biden signed an executive order saying that ibram x kendi CRT should be used in training, and ibrum x has flat out said he wants tk destroy the country.
      I don’t think it’s a conspiracy theory at this point

  25. How do retroactive taxes pass the ex post facto test?

    1. You know this by now. FYTW.

    2. They don’t.

      But FYTW.

    3. Have you realized how ignorant you were the last 2 years yet? This type of shit was obvious to everyone not broken.

    4. How does taxing a Right pass the “Constitutional” test?

  26. I blame the timber mess we’ve got and had for decades on whoever ws president back in the mid-1980’s who decided that the timber industry in the Northwest had to be dismantled… never gave a reason why, it was “jusst decided and so it was done”. They drafted the Northern Spotted Owl as the mascot for the operation claiming it was endangered” by contnued logging, as it would ONLY nest in “old growth” timber, and if we kept on logging, they’;d be gone. Sort of like the PNW’s Delta Smelt. Economic and social costs be damned, we were out-valued by a bird.
    I personally have seen them nesting in the cross trees of high tension wooden power transmission lines, and have heard their distinctive hoot over the pat three or four years at my place.. rural small acreage four miles from a signficant city, and having been well developd for over an hundred years now.
    This was used to force the larger family owned/operated timber companies which had expanded into the entire productioin line of lumber.. from owning the land they’d bought over an hundred years ago and on which they have grown their own timber after first cut, they harvest, transport, mill, warehouse, and retail, as well as export. Or at least theyUSED to. No more. Uncle Stupid isisted they get out of one major “link” in the supply chain. Weyerhauser had to close all their sawmills. Pthers to cease loging and growing, others the transport, or retaling. Breaking the full chain brings in other costs, as the same outfit can no longer deploy resources from one “link” to another. New regs shut down timpber production in probably half the productive land in the PNW. Bear in mind, almost all timber production in these parts was derived from newe groves planted after the old growth had been harvested. Many sectioins are now in their fourth or fifth harvest. But the Spotted Howl put a stop to most of that. Cnada had no problem” with that bird, though it also ranges well into BC timber country. They knew the “only old growth” was a false claim.

    Now da gummit, having destroyed that industry already, is trying to destroy the normal uses of that line of product. WHY? Simple.. after telling us to stay home, shuttering millions of businesses, They want us in thosewretched soviet style concrete high rises, where they will try and keep us all isolated and scared and harmless against their plans.. the reset thing.

    Unka Joey will have a real hard time getting a two year retroactive taruff enacted. HOW can they go back and tax something that has been sold and used two years ago? WHO has it? For what was it used. WHere is it now? Hasn’t Unka Joey read the Constitutoin he swore to uphold? In it it plainly prohibits “ex post facto” laws… enacting a law that changes how things worked BEFORE it was passed, and burdening folks now for what they did two years back.

    Ya know, they’ve essentiallyshut down the timber industry at least in the Pacifici NorthWet, they’ve forced constructin to use more wood, make it stronger (as if it was weak before) speccing higher grades and thicker pieces and more of them they will NOT allow me to harvest treeson y own land and build with lumber I mill from them.. not ‘”graded” so I can’t use it. They’ve done everything possible and now are even exceeding that standard, to make lumber unaffordable.

    And they want us to LIKE all this?

    1. …but its OK to mow land down for wind farms…

  27. Tariffs are occasionally necessary, because they help protect industry in the home country (in this case, the US). However, tariffs are rarely a good thing; more commonly, they are the best of several bad options, or adopted for political reasons, or adopted to help a particular group of political donors.

    Retroactive tariffs cannot be justified, and possibly would be unconstitutional given the constitutional prohibition on ex post facto laws. Business decisions were made based on the tariffs in place when the transactions took place. It is like running a bakery, then being told that you are retroactively being charged more for last year’s sugar, but you don’t get to retroactively raise the prices of the pastries you sold last year.

    One important factor in the higher prices is consolidation in the lumber marketing industry, with companies having been allowed to buy out competitors, so only a handful of large suppliers remain, making it easier for them to maintain high prices. A legal system that allowed the big guys to eliminate most of the competition is the source of some of the problem.

    I don’t know if any of you have seen the United States before, but we have a lot of trees here, and plenty of room to plant more. We can build this vital industry without raising tariffs. A tariff is paid by the US consumer. It is natural for Canada to be selling lumber to the US because they have far more trees per person than we do. We sell many things to Canada. Our relationship is very close and both countries should do everything possible to prevent it from becoming hostile. The relationship and the economies run more smoothly without retaliation in the form of tariffs.

    The rise in lumber prices, however uncomfortable, will lead to more domestic production, and cause a rise in employment needed to accomplish that production.

    1. I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening.

    2. If more government is the answer, it must be a stupid question

      1. ^^^^^^^^^^^ x 10,000,000

  28. The last seven words of that headline, “Biden is about to make it worse”, are likely to sum up the man’s Presidency nicely.

    1. Yeah, but he’s good with his hands.

  29. Ain’t Shotgun Joe absolutely marvelous? I ask you.

  30. “Even the Trump administration, which counter-productively hiked tariffs on everything from steel and aluminum to washing machines and other consumer goods, realized that much. Trump approved a lumber tariff hike in 2017, but his administration cut those duties in late 2020 amid concerns about the rising price of lumber.”
    Wait what? So Trump’s administration (not literal Hitler himself) made a pragmatic decision on tariffs. Don’t remember Eric reporting on that at the time. But of course he had limited column inches and schilling for Biden was Reason’s top priority in late 2020 so the editors probably had to cut that article.

  31. It’s funny to watch the liberaltarian choice for president keep fucking it up.

    1. I think she is back in South Carolina teaching psychology.

    2. Almost as funny as watching Right liberals blame Libertarians for their candidate losing

  32. “Crazy expensive” is the type of colloquialism I’d expect from a 12 year old, not an adult Koch Foundation employee.

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  36. If you liked Donald Trump, you’ll love Joe Biden!

  37. Its good to be true that the fact of Denying the reality of how tariffs work doesn’t always look as buffoonish grupo de 3 as the Trump administration often made it. Sometimes it just appears to be rote bureaucratic activity as usual.

  38. I normally don’t read the comments sections because most of the discussions devolve into mere political diatribes, as is evidenced here. Although some tariffs make sense, I agree that tariffs on Canadian lumber should be eliminated. Consumer prices would go down. Our forests would be preserved. Relations with our northern neighbor would be strengthened. And the economy of the Pacific northwest would adjust.

    1. If more government is the answer, it must be a stupid question

  39. But…but, according to Trumpanzees and other imbeciles, taxing foreign lumber will increase jobs for USA lumberjacks!

  40. Government interference with the market sucks. Tree farmers down south are hit with low prices for their trees that the government subsidized back in the 1980-90s. The DC brains encourage farmers to plant trees which are now due for harvesting. No workers for mills and mills disuse for the past 15 months has screwed the supply chain.
    The lumber crisis shall pass. The assholes in DC shall remain to inflict damage for years to come.

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