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在线翻译:
szdaily -> World Economy
US houses use more Russian lumber, thanks to Canada spat
    2017-August-22  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

RUSSIA has emerged as one of the winners from the trade dispute between Canada and the United States over lumber.

The United States is importing more softwood lumber from overseas after it slapped tariffs on Canadian supplies, making them more expensive. Russian shipments are 42 percent higher so far in 2017, according to U.S. government data.

To be sure, Russia accounts for a relatively small proportion of the total, while European countries such as Germany and Sweden are among the biggest suppliers to the United States. But the shift in volumes illustrate how a political spat has quickly altered the flow of international trade.

“It seems to be that there’s something illogical that we’re not buying the lumber from our neighbors to the north, that we’re buying it from the Russians,” said Jerry Howard, chief executive officer of the National Association of Home Builders. “That’s sort of the looking glass that we’ve gone through and that’s what the market is forcing us to do now.”

The dispute has increased material costs for house builders in the United States by 20 percent, according to Howard.

The trade in softwood lumber between the United States and Canada has been an intermittent source of friction for years, but tensions escalated in April when the Trump administration set countervailing duties of up to 24 percent on Canadian imports. Additional duties of as much as 7.7 percent followed in June.

There’s been speculation since then that both sides could resolve their differences before talks this month aimed at renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. But so far, it’s remained as speculation.

Monthly softwood lumber shipments from Russia totaled 4,214 cubic meters in May, the most since January 2008, data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show.

For the first half of the year, offshore softwood lumber imports into the United States rose 38 percent, while shipments from Canada declined 1 percent, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Joshua Zaret. (SD-Agencies)

 

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