The influx of Canadian timber in the United States continues to add fuel to a trade dispute with big implications for Maine’s forest products industry.
Federal trade statistics bear out that concern, showing that Canadian wood imports are up about 20 percent this year. The subset of sawn lumber imports are up about 25 percent, through October, according to federal trade statistics.
The trend has continued to put pressure on domestic producers, who have petitioned government officials to impose a tariff on those imports, alleging that Canadian harvesters are getting sweetheart rates to harvest on government land.
The Canadian dollar also remains at historic lows against the U.S. dollar, making Canadian timber even cheaper just as U.S. home construction is on the rise.
Wood imports spiked early this year and remained at recent highs, according to federal figures dating back to 2008. Wood imports to the U.S. were valued at $876.5 million in October, just under a peak of about $890 million in August.