The tariff barriers imposed on Canadian softwood lumber cost American consumers a fortune, all while enriching a limited group of producers, shows a Viewpoint published today by the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI), a Canadian public policy research center.
Since the entry into force of the latest Softwood Lumber Agreement between Canada and the United States, tariffs at the border have reduced Canadian exports and have allowed American producers to increase their market shares. The latter thus registered additional net earnings of US$4.31 billion between 2006 and 2015.
American consumers, however, are the big losers of this deal. Since the Canadian lumber targeted by the Agreement is used primarily for residential construction on the American market, American consumers have had to get their wood from an alternative and more expensive source.