Neither President Trump’s new administration nor duties imposed on Canadian softwood lumber exports to the U.S. will get much blame or credit for affecting compensation among the wood products industry in 2017, results from Random Lengths’ annual survey indicate. This year’s survey asked mill, wholesale/distribution, and retail sales managers to assess how the countervailing and anti-dumping duties along with Donald Trump’s election to the White House would impact their incomes this year. The majority of respondents among all three groups said those factors would have no influence on compensation one way or the other. This indicates that it should have little impact on job loss for our IAM woodworking members.
Housing starts could be effected somewhat by the increase of dimensional lumber prices, which may have an impact on the building trades. But, U.S. lumber producers will be pleased by Trump’s decision; they have long alleged that Canadian lumber imports are unfairly subsidized. Additionally, the Canadian softwood duties imposed may have a positive effect for IAM members in the panel products industries since U.S. panel markets have historically relied heavily on the Canadian panel market while they tried to drive down labor costs in the states!