Tariffs of up to 25% on US hardwoods will hurt

Friday 10 Aug 2018

China's proposed tariffs of up to 25% on US hardwood shipments delivers 'painful blow' to US exporters, says AHEC chief, who notes exports to China in 2017 included hardwood lumber worth some US$1.6B, US$800M in hardwood logs and US$260M in veneer.

China’s plan to slap tariffs of as much as 25 percent on U.S. shipments of hardwood means a “very, very painful” blow from the top customer, the American Hardwood Export Council said.

Everything from oak wood to veneered panels of laminated wood has been ensnared in China’s $60 billion escalation of the trade battle with the U.S. Half of U.S. hardwood production is exported, and the bulk goes to China, Michael Snow, executive director of the Sterling, Virginia-based council, said Friday in a telephone interview.

“This could be, I don’t want to say ‘catastrophic,’ but very, very painful for the industry,” Snow said. Last year, shipments to China included US$1.6 billion in hardwood lumber, US$800 million for hardwood logs and US$260 million for veneer, Snow said. Almost all U.S. hardwood-manufacturing companies are small family owned firms, and the top producers probably account for only about 5 percent of output, leaving the market fragmented, he said.

“It’s going to be a bumpy road, there’s no question about it,” he said. Kudlow Says Trump Won’t Back Off as China Expands Trade War. Some traditional Chinese furniture manufacturers that rely on U.S. products have shut amid new environmental regulations. “We were looking at some pretty strong headwinds in China” before the latest salvo Friday in the trade battle, Snow said.

Source: Bloomberg L.P.

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