Despite a tremendous push by the hardwood community, the U.S. Department of Agriculture did not include hardwoods in the recently announced agricultural aid package. With the exception of cotton, the eligible list of commodities seems to focus on edible farm goods. Here is a link the official press release issued by USDA. According to the press release, additional information will be released at a later time.
In spite of this set back the Hardwood Federation will continue to reach out to Congress and the Administration to explore options for those in the industry being hit by the retaliatory tariffs imposed by China. The U.S. Senate and Congress will be on recess (May 25 – June 2) and back in their home states and districts. Now is the time to take action at home. Speak to your elected officials directly about how the ongoing situation and China’s retaliatory tariffs on industry products are impacting you and your companies.
Below is a quick guide to making contact with your federally elected officials:
- Contact state offices to schedule an appointment or to inquire about public meetings and events that you may attend.
- Prepare and organize your thoughts to efficiently communicate your message. Recommended talking points are below:
- The U.S. Hardwood Lumber industry is being devastated by the ongoing trade dispute with China. Domestic mills have suffered sharp sales declines of export sales, lost jobs, and shuttered operations.
- The impacts the industry is suffering are outside the control of our significant agriculture market and is devastating to the communities reliant on good paying hardwood jobs.
- U.S. hardwoods is an $348 billion industry and employs nearly 2 million people. We ship almost $4 billion in products around the world, half to China. (For state specific economic impact numbers, visit Hardwood Industry Economic Impact.)
- Share details of how the retaliatory tariffs are impacting your business. Tell your story and those of your employees in as much detail as possible using economic and jobs numbers.
- If these tariffs continue to be imposed much longer logging and sawmill production will disappear as an industry sector, and the secondary jobs and manufacturing companies depending on loggers and sawmill operations will quickly follow.
- Share this letter from the Hardwood Federation Board of Directors with your Senator or Congressman (and/or their staff) and ask them to encourage U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to include hardwood businesses in any relief efforts targeted at agricultural products hit hard by the trade war.
Other Ways to Have Your Voice Heard:
- The Hardwood Federation is working on organizing a Hardwood Trade Day in Washington, D.C. in early June. Further details will be available soon. Please contact Dana Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org or Cary Moon at email@example.com if you would like to participate.
- Continue to write to your Senator and Member of Congress directly using the Hardwood Federation Grassroots outreach tool. Click here to reach out.
Source: Hardwood Federation