What are Your Opinions on the Potential Hardwood Tariffs

Monday, August 20th, 2018
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One of the most important responsibilities of a trade association is to act as a staunch advocate on our members’ behalf.  That’s why NHLA is a founding member and the largest contributor to the Hardwood Federation. The Federation has been hard at work In Washington representing your views on the tariff issue.

NHLA would like to hear your personal opinion on the potential hardwood tariffs.  Are you for or against and why? Has your business already been affected by just the threat of tariffs? If so, please share your story in the comments. 


NHLA has been following the tariff threat very closely over the past few weeks.  And while we recognize and respect that a portion of our members have differing views on this issue, we feel it is our responsibility to ensure our government representatives understand the unintentional consequences that even the threat of tariffs has had on our members’ businesses.


Prices have dropped dramatically on certain species with company losses ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars – and this before tariffs are even implemented. Now that China has announced proposed tariffs on hardwood lumber, the prices have dropped even more.  Even pricing on species not normally sold in China have been negatively impacted.


We will continue to work closely with the Hardwood Federation on this issue and will provide you with continuous updates as the tariff discussion moves forward.



2 thoughts on “What are Your Opinions on the Potential Hardwood Tariffs”

  1. We appreciate the NHLA, AHEC, Hardwood Federation and other good industry association people tracking the tariff situation, and giving opportunities for members to comment, as NHLA is doing here. We’re hurt by the current situation same as everyone else, and we wish all things were more stable. But perhaps the cost of stability has risen too high, and it’s time to stand for fairness.
    We’ve been competing against foreign unfair trade tariffs/laws/duties for decades, and we’re tired of it.
    Our US hardwood forests are the healthiest in the world. We are harvesting the most legally and sustain-ably produced hardwoods in the world, in a system of pure supply/demand without gov’t controls. That’s the simplest form of free and fair trade there is. Meanwhile foreign governments systematically support and protect their wood industries to give them unfair advantage. They give tax advantages to their wood producers and they apply duties/tariffs to our products.
    We’re tired of the knee-jerk, political party talking points, and simply want a level playing field. That’s one of the roles of our Gov’t, to get us a level playing field in foreign markets same as they have in the US.
    Short of military conflict that nobody wants, tariffs imposed by individual countries are the only tool available to encourage foreign governments to trade fair. I say “individual countries” because each country must define and pursue it’s own needs first, and then seek common ground with allies. Nobody else has what we have, so we don’t see many allies yet, perhaps because we don’t have many. We believe our Gov’t is in the process of defining and negotiating our position. Their results with others has worked.
    Recently, the EU and US gov’ts made a joint statement that “no tariffs” are the best policy, and we agree. You may not like the person who led us there or his tweets along the way, God knows I don’t, but it worked.
    In order to get other countries (China) to agree to “no tariffs” without resorting to military conflict, shouldn’t we stand tough and support our US Government’s negotiations now?
    In a small way we suggested new legislation to one of our Senators that makes import tariff dollars the US collects, available to US exporters hurt by retaliatory tariffs. Who knows if that idea will find traction but the concept seems to work. Let foreign gov’ts know we’re behind this negotiation, and hope the end result is no tariffs on either side.
    We don’t know any other way to encourage foreign governments to drop their tariffs, than to support current negotiations by imposing tariffs. Do you? We don’t know any other way to help exporting companies hurt by retaliatory tariffs, than subsidizing them with import tariff dollars. Do you?
    It’s not enough to just disagree, we’ve got to propose solutions that are likely to work.
    Finally, regardless how you feel about the tariff battles and about current politics, know this from a guy whose committed 40 years and counting to this industry, whose traveled extensively for decades, there is no other hardwood resource, no other reliable industry as healthy and free and fair, as ours. Let’s look a little deeper than talking points, and together define and pursue things that work for the greater good of our whole industry, propose solutions that are likely to succeed, and encourage one another along the way.
    That’s my two cents worth. I’m looking forward to reading yours, and finding common ground we can fight for fair and free trade together. Maybe it’ll be “no tariffs” on both sides, after all.

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