Protectionist trade barriers in the softwood lumber industry impose great costs on businesses and consumers here in the United States in order to enrich a few lumber producers. To put employment figures in perspective, it is noteworthy that workers in the major lumber-using sectors outnumber logging and sawmill workers by better than 25 to 1. Advocates of protectionism claim that trade barriers are necessary to offset unfair subsidies enjoyed by Canadian lumber producers, but such claims do not withstand scrutiny. Neither do arguments that free trade in lumber would harm the environment. It is time for the United States to stop lining the pockets of a few producers here at the expense of U.S. homebuilders and families who dream of owning their own homes.
HT: Frances Coppola