How important is the U.S. wood products industry?
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In a recent message from the National Hardwood Lumber Association encouraging member companies to contact representatives in Washington regarding the tariff situation, NHLA passed on this information from the Hardwood Federation on the importance of the wood products industry to the United States.

The wood products industry in the United States is an important contributor to the U.S. economy, accounting for approximately 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP.

Wood products companies are among the top ten manufacturing sector employers in 47 states, producing $210 billion in products annually.

The industry employs nearly 900,000 people; more than the automotive, chemicals and plastics industries. Many of them are in rural areas where employment opportunities are limited.

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, including Hong Kong and Macau.

Combined, China, the NAFTA countries and the E.U. make up 82 percent of hardwood exports. Dependable, long-term export markets are vital to the sustainability of the hardwood industry.

In 2017, the U.S. had a trade surplus of $1.475 billion in hardwood lumber, up from $1.1 billion in 2015.

It is vital that markets remain open for these businesses and the men and women they employ. See,

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About the author
Karl Forth

Karl D. Forth is online editor for CCI Media. He also writes news and feature stories in FDMC Magazine, in addition to newsletters and custom publishing projects. He is also involved in event organization, and compiles the annual FDM 300 list of industry leaders. He can be reached at [email protected].