Trade Update from the Hardwood Federation

Both chambers of Congress are now in recess and back in their home states until after the election November 6. But just because federal lawmakers have left D.C. doesn’t mean they stop hearing from their constituents…in fact, now is the best and most effective time for you to speak directly to them about what you are most concerned about.

Members of Congress will be holding public forums, participating in community events and touring various businesses across your state. If you have the opportunity, we encourage you to seek them out and share your opinion on what matters most to you.

Two issues that the Hardwood Federation continues to work on with staff and Administration officials still in DC are Trade and the Farm Bill. Below is some background and suggested talking points for you to use if you do meet with your elected officials.

Trade: China has imposed retaliatory tariffs on hardwood raw materials and products in response to U.S. tariffs on Chinese products. These tariffs are having a devastating impact on the domestic industry.

  • Hardwood is an important sub-sector of the wood products industry and has a heavy reliance on export markets for its survival.
  • In 2017, U.S. hardwood producers shipped $4.04 billion worth of U.S. products to global markets; $2.09 billion to Greater China.
  • Approximately 50% of hardwood exports to go China.
  • In 2017, the U.S. had a trade surplus of $1.475 billion in hardwood lumber, up from $1.1 billion in 2015.
  • Uncertainty in the market has rapidly driven market pricing of hardwoods down by 25-30%, causing severe market disruption and creating a life-threatening situation for many companies in terms of reduction of lumber, log and timber values