Press Releases

Hern leads bipartisan letter to Commerce Secretary Raimondo on lumber shortage

Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01) sent a letter to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo yesterday with 84 bipartisan cosigners from the House of Representatives. In the letter, the Members urge Secretary Raimondo to reconsider the decision to increase antidumping and countervailing duties on softwood lumber, which will raise prices on lumber even further, burdening American families.  

Representative Brian Higgins (D-NY) is a co-lead on the letter, and additional signers include Representatives Dina Titus (D-NV), Chris Jacobs (R-NY), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Mike Turner (R-OH), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rick Allen (R-GA), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Mary Miller (R-IL), Tim Walberg (R-MI), David Kustoff (R-TN), Peter Meijer (R-MI), Neal P. Dunn, M.D. (R-FL), Brad R. Wenstrup, D.P.M. (R-OH), Mike Bost (R-IL), Sharice Davids (D-KS), Cindy Axne (D-IA), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), David Valadao (R-CA), Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, M.D. (R-IA), Scott Perry (R-PA), David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV), Betty McCollum (D-MN), J. Luis Correa (D-CA), William Timmons (R-SC), Ronny L. Jackson (R-TX), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Warren Davidson (R-OH) , Michael C. Burgess, M.D (R-TX), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Ben Cline (R-VA), Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN), Don J. Bacon (R-NE), Scott H. Peters (D-CA), John Rose (R-TN), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Chip Roy (R-TX), Darin LaHood (R-IL), Ron Kind (D-WI), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Roger Williams (R-TX), Bill Posey (R-FL), David P. Joyce (R-OH), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Fred Upton (R-MI), Jodey C. Arrington (R-TX), Anthony Gonzalez (OH), John Katko (R-NY), Scott Franklin (R-FL), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Norma J. Torres (D-CA), Glenn Grothman (R-WI), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Steven Horsford (D-NV), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Blake Moore (R-UT), Randy Weber (R-TX), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Elise M. Stefanik (R-NY), Victoria Spartz (R-IN), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Beth Van Duyne (R-TX), Stephanie Bice (R-OK), James Comer (R-KY), Billy Long (R-MO), Young Kim (R-CA), Michael Cloud (R-TX), Kay Granger (R-TX), Tom Reed (R-NY), Jay Obernolte (R-CA), Andy Harris, M.D. (R-MD), and Judy Chu (D-CA).

The text of the letter can be found here and below. 


December 20, 2021

The Honorable Gina M. Raimondo
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230

Dear Secretary Raimondo:

We are writing in response to the Department of Commerce’s decision to increase antidumping and countervailing duties on certain softwood lumber products from Canada. We are very concerned about the implications this action will have on new housing construction and the costs faced by hardworking American families. 

Historically high lumber and building material prices continue to imperil the U.S. housing sector and the jobs of the skilled workers in this sector. Housing construction is an important contributor to the U.S. economy, especially as the nation continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this success is at risk as the construction industry faces a dramatic increase in the costs of materials. 

While lumber prices began a sharp decline in May, it took months for a meaningful portion of those decreases to reach the construction industry and its customers. Unfortunately, prices began rising again in September and have increased substantially in the past weeks. 

Our understanding is the U.S. and Canadian Governments discussed this matter earlier this year and expressed mutual interest in addressing this longstanding dispute. We are supportive of these efforts and request that all parties come to the negotiating table to reach a balanced agreement that counters unfair trade practices. Such an agreement would be in the interests of the United States because it would provide predictability to homebuilders and job security for the millions of hardworking Americans who apply their skills every day in the construction industry. Resolving this matter in a balanced way would help the economy recover from the disruptions of the past year. We, as Members of Congress, stand ready to discuss this issue and potential solutions with you. 



This letter follows a bipartisan letter to US Trade Representative Katherine Tai led by Rep. Hern this spring urging resumption of trade negotiations with Canada.