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Proposed Hardwood Lumber Promotion Order Gets Extended Comment Period

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service has extended through Feb. 14 the period for public comments on its proposal to establish a Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research and Information Order. This program would seek to strengthen the position of hardwood lumber, hardwood lumber products, hardwood lumber value-added products and hardwood plywood in the marketplace and to maintain and expand markets for these products. In proposing this order the AMS noted that the increasing use of imported wood and alternative materials, as well as other factors such as the U.S. housing crisis and increased recycling, have contributed to a significant decline in consumption of U.S. hardwoods over the past decade.

Hardwoods are timber from the wood of a cypress tree or a deciduous, broad-leafed tree such as aspen, birch, poplar, maple, cherry, walnut and oak. Hardwood lumber products used in residential and commercial construction include flooring, furniture, moldings, doors and kitchen cabinets. Industrial hardwood products include pallets, wood dunning and railroad ties. Hardwood plywood products are used in manufacturing furniture and wood paneling. Hardwood lumber value-added products include solid wood unfinished strip flooring, all-sides surfaced boards, finger-jointed strips ripped to width, and moldings.

The proposed program would be financed by assessments that would initially be set at $1 per $1,000 in sales of hardwood lumber and hardwood lumber products, $0.75 per $1,000 in sales of hardwood lumber value-added products, and $3 per $1,000 in sales of hardwood plywood. Hardwood lumber manufacturers with annual sales of less than $2 million, and hardwood plywood manufacturers with annual sales of less than $10 million, would be exempt from these assessments. Exports would also be exempt, and imports would not be covered.

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