WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is calling on the Trump administration to provide relief and support for Wisconsin’s forest products economy and hardwood businesses targeted by retaliatory tariffs from China.
In just the first year of President Trump’s trade war with China, American hardwood lumber exports were down by $615 million, undermining the export markets that hardwood businesses spent years to build and develop, and that could take years to rebuild. In her letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, Baldwin is urging the administration to provide the same trade aid for these affected hardwood lumber companies that other tariff-impacted businesses have received.
In her letter, Senator Baldwin writes, “Wisconsin’s hardwood industry is facing severe challenges from the retaliatory tariffs China has placed on American hardwoods as part of the ongoing trade wars. Because of the retaliatory tariffs, our hardwood businesses have faced dramatic losses in sales of hardwood logs and hardwood lumber to China. They have asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture for help, and I urge you to act swiftly to provide it.”
She continues, “Hardwood stakeholders have indicated a willingness to work with USDA to establish a fair and reasonable approach to address the severe impacts of retaliatory tariffs on their commodity, which is covered by the same authorities used to provide aid to soy, corn, cotton, and other products. I am discouraged to hear that they have not secured a solution and assistance that other producers have. The forest products economy is a key driver in many parts of the United States, and it is critical to jobs and the economy in Wisconsin.”
Baldwin concludes, “I urge you to take immediate action to provide relief to the tree farmers, family woodland owners, and related small businesses in the hardwood industry, and make sure they are not overlooked while aid is provided for other commodities. These small businesses are often major employers in our rural communities, and without attention to this matter, job and wage losses could severely harm our local economies.”