Trump’s Lumber Tariffs Hurt Hurricane Recovery

The following excerpt is from an article that originally appeared on Hit and Run

As the flood waters from Hurricane Harvey dry up, the residents of affected areas are turning to the task of rebuilding their storm-ravaged communities.

Early estimates of the damage suggest they have their work cut out for them. The Texas Division of Emergency Management reports that the storm destroyed 9,407 single family homes. Another 44,013 experienced major damage. Moody’s Analytics estimates that the cost of the hurricane will be in the $51–$75 billion range.

President Donald Trump has pledged $1 million of his own money to Harvey relief efforts, along with a $15 billion aid package for areas affected by the storm. But he’s also pushing protectionist policies that will raise the cost of the basic building materials, making recovery a longer, more difficult, and more expensive process.

In April, the Trump administration imposed countervailing trade duties averaging 20 percent on imported softwood Canadian lumber, a common material in

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