Bruce Cochrane, right, CEO of Lincolnton Furniture in North Carolina, met with U.S. President Barack Obama at a January 2012 White House forum. The White house has launched initiatives to support U.S. insourcing.
The Maine International Trade Center (MITC) also helps drive U.S. wood exports. MITC helped Katahdin Log Homes, an 80-employee manufacturer of cedar and pine log homes, in a deal with a China real estate developer for log home kits for a new community.
Katahdin expects China deal will lead to a 30 percent revenue rise says MMITC’s news channel. Driving the decision: China has limited domestic lumber sources. “Because they have 1.2 billion people,” says Gordon, “there’s been extreme pressure put on their wood resources. So they’re looking to purchase a lot of their wood products elsewhere.”
MITC named Hancock Lumber, Casco, ME, its 2012 Exporter of the Year. The sawmill devotes 25 percent of its operations and generates 12 to 15 percent of its $100 million in sales. An order from Pakistan for one million board feet took over a single mill for several months; exports kept Hancock’s 200 workers operating three mills during the downturn.
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