The Essential Nature of Free Trade

Apr 27, 2015

National Journal Energy Insider Blog
By Donna Harman
President & CEO

Free trade agreements are an essential component to a level playing field on international commerce, competitiveness and environmental stewardship. 

The U.S. forest products industry is a global leader in sustainable and responsible business practices, including the sustainable and legal sourcing of timber for our products. Through trade deals, the U.S. can ensure that its trading partners abide by similar good practices.

Preventing illegal logging throughout the world is part of our industry’s Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 sustainability commitment. We have urged the U.S. government to address illegal logging with their counterparts in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations. The TPP countries represent producing, consuming and processing countries, some of whom have been identified as being the source of legally questionable wood and forest products. We believe that the TPP represents an opportunity to build on previous efforts, like the 2008 amendments to the Lacey Act, to stop illegal international logging and its associated trade. 

We support the Obama administration’s effort to ensure that the TPP requires strong enforcement of illegal logging laws so that forests around the world are managed and cared for properly and that foreign producers do not benefit at the detriment of U.S. producers.