Ratification of a new Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) with Canada is vital to stability in the lumber and building materials industry. Which is why this issue remains a priority for the American Building Materials Alliance (ABMA) and has been since its founding in September 2021.
The last SLA expired in 2015, over seven years ago, and in that time, every link in the lumber supply chain has had to confront escalating prices for this commodity. Even with the recent interest hikes, prices are still well above softwood lumber prices in 2015. Additionally, the numerous antidumping and countervailing duty orders issued in that timeframe have served to create an uncertain business environment for producers and consumers of lumber building materials.
While prices for softwood lumber are now approaching their pre-pandemic levels due primarily to interest rate increases and resulting housing start declines, action on a new SLA remains critical. Inflation and supply chain challenges throughout the economy continue to persist. A new, meaningful agreement forged with our trading partner to the North would serve as a stabilizing influence within the housing, construction and building materials dealer sectors.
ABMA continues to work with our Congressional partners to put pressure on the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) Office regarding a new SLA. We are also working with USTR staff to push these negotiations forward.
Read more about the SLA.