The Hardwood Federation has started producing a weekly “D.C. Cheat Sheet” newsletter to keep the industry up-to-date on the latest news from Washington D.C. Check out the May 12th edition below and sign up to receive your copy today.
Keep the Trains Running on Time: Fed Watchdog Examines Bad Rail Service
The Surface Transportation Board, the federal agency in charge of regulating the freight rail sector, has held hearings this spring to examine reasons why manufactured goods, farm products, and transportation fuel have been held up in their timely delivery to customers. The Board looked at aging locomotives and staff cuts as complicating factors and appears to be moving in the direction of requiring the Class 1s, which are the largest carriers in the country, to get their houses in order. Discussion is focused on making the Class 1s prepare service recovery plans and progress reports on rail service and operations.
President Biden Floats Chinese Tariff Rollbacks
During a much-anticipated speech on Tuesday focusing on the nation’s inflation crisis, President Biden mentioned the possibility of reviewing and repealing certain tariffs on Chinese imports as a means of combatting higher prices for consumer goods. When questioned by reporters for specifics, the President emphasized the fact that the tariff issue remains in the discussion phase and that the Administration has not yet identified a specific plan or timetable for a full-scale reversal of the Trump Administration tariffs. However, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced this week that they are beginning a mandated review of tariffs imposed on Chinese goods on July 6, 2018, and those imposed on August 23, 2018. Information about the process and how individual companies can participate may be found here. The Federation will follow these trade related issues closely and share news that might have direct impacts on the hardwood industry.
Ag Coalition Urges Congress to Spend Big on Exports
The Hardwood Federation joined more than 120 industry groups in a letter to House and Senate leaders urging Congress to spend at least $234.5 million next year on promotion of agriculture exports, a five percent increase over 2022 spending. The coalition argues that U.S. ag runs the risk of losing market share overseas in the wake of the pandemic and ongoing tariffs arising from trade disputes. Stay tuned for updates related to support for hardwood lumber exports as Congress makes progress on 2023 budgets.
Source: Hardwood Federation