WCMA: Issues Impacting the Wood Components IndustryThe Wood Component Manufacturers Association works with industry groups for the betterment of the North American woodworking industry, while keeping members informed of relevant issues that impact their businesses. Among the key issues are:

Proposed Hardwood Checkoff Program: Earlier this year, the Hardwood Checkoff Blue Ribbon Committee submitted revisions to the proposed program that would limit the scope of eligible products while including export sales and yellow poplar. Key is the removal of all industrial lumber and lumber products from eligibility.

Checkoff programs are collective marketing efforts funded by the product producers and run by an industry-governed board; coordinated through the USDA. Under the Hardwood Checkoff proposal, funding for the program would come from sawmills producers and kiln-operating facilities with annual sales in excess of $2 million. These companies would be required to pay $1 per $1,000 on sales on the raw product. Value-added – though still considered unfinished – products, such as unfinished strip flooring, mouldings, dimensioned components, S4S, etc., will also be subject to a checkoff fee, but at a reduced rate of $0.75 per $1,000 in sales. (HardwoodCheckoff.com.)

Lacey Act: The Lacey Act makes it illegal to trade plants and plant products, including wood, harvested or traded in violation of the laws of a foreign country. It also requires importers to file a declaration with the name of the country of harvest and the genus and species of plants contained in their products. As a member of the Hardwood Federation, the WCMA works in support of the Lacey Act. (FWS.gov)

Biobased Markets Program: As it currently stands, many forest products are ineligible to reap the benefits of the USDA’s BioPreferred program, while products with as little as 25% biobased content can be included. The Hardwood Federation is working with Congress to make forest products eligible for the program and has given its support to the Forest Products Fairness Act of 2013 (S. 463 and HR 979), which would create a level playing field. (HardwoodFederation.net)

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