MERRITT, B.C. — A Canadian ad campaign south of the border aimed at educating Americans about the negative impact of the softwood lumber tariff is drawing some criticism.
Scott Shotwell, executive director of U.S.-based Coalition for Fair Lumber Import insists the ads are misleading and erroneous in their claims that the tariff will lead to higher housing costs and construction job losses.
“It’s hard to understand how they are figuring that out,” Shotwell tells local media. “Lumber prices are only 2.45 per cent of a house. It’s not something that’s going to push housing prices. When you look at all the other costs including labor, then the wood is not a very expensive part of a house.”
Forestry Minister Mike de Jong announced on Friday that the federal and provincial governments would launch the ad campaign to try to convince Americans that the tariff will negatively affect them.
“There are jobs at stake in the U.S.,” de Jong told local media as he fired the latest in a series of attacks at the U.S. “For any job they think they’re saving at Joe’s mill, they’re losing 20 jobs in construction and pricing one or two million people out of homes.”
Meanwhile, officials from both sides of the border will meet this week to discuss the tariff and try to find a solution.