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  We will No Longer Sell Red Cedar effective 11/26/2017, all orders before this date will be processed and this is the reason why… 

Western Red Cedar lumber prices have increased by 20% to 30% since the start of 2017 (it actually has gone up 42% here in Michigan since this article was published). 


How did we get here and what can we expect going forward? Here's a brief explanation for the recent price surge. The bulk of the Cedar used in the U.S. construction industry is imported from Canada. Most of the United States' trade with Canada is governed by NAFTA: the all-encompassing trade agreement between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. that came into force in 1994. After NAFTA was enacted, Lumber producers in the U.S. still felt the Canadian government was selling tracts of trees below market value to Canadian mills since Canadian forests are largely owned by provincial governments. The U.S. companies contended this constitutes a subsidy that gives Canadian firms an unfair advantage. So, during kinder, gentler trade times the SLA or Softwood Lumber Agreement was signed in 2006 which basically says that as long as Canadian Lumber prices stay above a certain price range that the United States would not enact additional tariffs. The Canadian government would then adjust taxes on lumber exports to keep pricing in range. 


Everything plodded along nicely until the SLA expired last year. Now, the new U.S. administration has put trade, including NAFTA and the SLA, in the cross hairs. It’s looking increasingly like NAFTA is going to get more than "tweaked", according to the latest meetings of new United States Trade Representative Appointee Robert Lighthizer, who formerly worked for Ronald Reagan. Lighthizer told his Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday that softwood is "at the top of the list," said the Globe and Mail on March 14 (Nothing has been done so far as of November 26, 2017). He said he recognizes that American companies want "quantitative restraint" – a limit on Canadian lumber entering the United States. 


"It is a very serious, intractable sort of problem. It has enormous political consequences on both sides of the border," he told the Senate’s Finance committee. "We have to have a new [deal]." Hopefully, the new agreement will be sorted out in the next couple of months, but in the midst of uncertainty Canadian Mills have been steadily increasing prices. Though nothing has actually happened, everyone is anticipating changes, which is causing a lot of smoke, mirrors and muddy water with softwood lumber pricing. Until a new agreement is signed, expect pricing instability. (Taken from Timberline)  

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