The Hardwood Federation, the industry’s united voice in Washington, DC, reviewed with interest Brent McClendon’s recent blog regarding the “continued fight against Lacey.”

Although it is unclear exactly what Mr. McClendon finds to oppose in the current law and exactly what he intends to fight for in the future, it may be instructive to review the key reasons why the Federation and our member associations, representing thousands of hardwood companies, strongly supports the Lacey Act and the protections it offers to the industry.

* The Hardwood Industry has suffered tremendous employment and economic losses in the past several years. Jobs have declined by nearly 300,000 since 2006 and countless mills have been forced to shut down due to economic pressures. The Lacey Act is important as it offers a fair and level playing field for U.S. workers negatively impacted by the flow of illegally harvested wood and wood products into the country.

* The Lacey Act amendments of 2008 that included hardwood timber within its jurisdiction is the result of bi-partisan efforts, including democrats and republicans, environmentalists and business leaders, large and small hardwood timber interests.Since 2008, global illegal logging has been cut by 22%, in no small part to the power and influence of the Lacey Act.

* Since 2008, global illegal logging has been cut by 22%, in no small part to the power and influence of the Lacey Act.

* In 2006, the U.S. ran a $20.3 Billion deficit with China is the forest products sector. In 2010 the U.S. realized a $600 million surplus in large part to the Lacey Act, which led many Chinese manufacturers to search out low-risk, legally sourced wood.

* Cutting trees outside the boundaries of the law devastates environmentally sensitive forests and parks around the world. The Lacey Act is intended to stem the flow of illegally harvested timber into the U.S. and is serving as the model for legislation around the globe, including the European Union, Australia and Japan. The U.S. should be proud of its leadership on the international stage regarding the preservation and protection of environmentally sensitive forests and parks around the world.

    The Hardwood Federation is strongly in favor of maintaining the protections offered by the Lacey Act.  If Mr. McClendon has specific thoughts regarding further improvements to the Act, we are more than happy to discuss them  with him.

    Dana Cole is executive director of the Hardwood Federation, the largest Washington, DC-based hardwood industry trade association that actsas an industry advocacy voice on Capitol Hill. The Federation is an umbrella organization representing trade associations engaged in the manufacturing, wholesaling, or distribution of North American hardwood lumber, veneer, plywood, flooring and related products. Members include the American Forest & Paper Association, Hardwood Plywood & Veneer Association, Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, National Hardwood Lumber Association and the Wood Component Manufacturers Association.

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