The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Agriculture Improvement Act (H.R. 2), otherwise known as the Farm Bill, by a vote of 369-47. This comes on the heels of Senate passage last night with a veto proof margin of 87-13. This sends the legislation to the President’s desk.
The Farm Bill conference report includes language positively impacting issues of significant importance to the U.S. Hardwood industry:
- Funding for U.S.D.A export promotion programs including the Foreign Market Development Program and the Market Access Program. The conference report reauthorizes and fully funds these two critical programs, which have been essential to developing global markets for the hardwood industry.
- Timber Innovation Act (TIA) provisions which support research and development of tall wood building technologies.
- The Community Wood Energy Program (CWEP). The conference report increases the scope and authorization for this key program which will help create markets for hardwood sawmill residuals now accumulating at our manufacturing sites.
- Forest Management Reform measures, which would help promote healthy management of national forest lands, increased access for recreational activities, wildlife habitat development, reduction of forest fires, and economic health of the forest products industry.
Source: Hardwood Federation