The following is the body of the text of a WVFA letter sent to each member of the West Virginia congressional delegation, today:
On August 3, the Chinese government announced their plan for new tariffs on $60 billion of American products; including American hardwood logs and lumber goods produced in West Virginia. Their position is that the action is in response to a recent tariff proposal by the United States, according to news reports. WVFA joins other Americans who support trade-imbalance corrections, yet we hold concerns for how China – an important trading partner – may ultimately react. It is in this vein that we request your help in defending, securing and maintaining a healthy economy for our industry and all West Virginians.
The West Virginia Forestry Association (WVFA) is a non-profit organization funded by its membership. Our members include individuals and businesses involved in forest management, timber production, harvesting, and wood product manufacturing. Our members are concerned with protecting the environment, as well as enhancing the future of West Virginia’s forests through multiple-use management.
The Chinese proposal has four different types of tariffs at 5%, 10%, 20%, and/or 25% on U.S. goods, though a date of commencement was not a part of their proposal. The following forest product tariffs are based on an unofficial translation:
- oak lumber 25%
- cherry lumber 20%
- ash lumber 20%
- hardwood logs 20%
- other non-coniferous lumber 20%
- maple lumber 5%
- poplar lumber 5%
- other hardwood lumber 5%
WVFA is working closely with state, regional and national allies to monitor and address this issue. The Hardwood Federation distributed the following: “…We have been making the rounds on Capitol Hill, including a meeting with Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s staff…, expressing our concern with the Administration’s course of action and the potential impacts on the industry. The vast majority of offices have been sympathetic to our concerns and are doing their best to communicate them to the Administration…”
We would be pleased to assist you in any way that you may require, in order to maintain the sound, vigorous forest products industry that is so vital to our state.