The American Loggers Council (ALC) and its member state logging associations recently delivered letters to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue, asking the administration to include unrefined forest products as an agricultural commodity. ALC and its members say aligning timber and agriculture would enable impacted loggers to receive relief as the industry continues to be impacted by retaliatory tariffs.
“The West Virginia forest products industry has been, and continues to be, concerned that federal support for our products is not being treated equally with agricultural products,” wrote Curt Hassler and William Robinson, representing the West Virginia Loggers Council.
“While the agricultural sectors have been the primary beneficiaries of tariff relief, we believe it is time for forest products to be included in tariff relief policies. We stand ready to support policy initiatives that ensure all sectors of the forest products industry, including timberland owners, loggers, and mills, are no longer overlooked as a needed, valued, and sustainable industry in our national economy.”
The logging associations noted that unrefined forest products, such as wood fiber and logs, are among the most widely exported commodities to foreign countries. Retaliatory tariffs have had severe impacts on certain sectors of the forest products industry, resulting in the closure of businesses and the loss of jobs.