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The International Wood Products Association (IWPA) will host its fall fly-in for members in Washington, DC September 19-21. Attendees will gather at the Old Town Hilton in Alexandria, VA for three days of legislative briefings on developments across a wide range of domestic and international issues impacting the imported wood industry. Members will then ascend Capitol Hill for meetings with lawmakers and staff.
“The annual IWPA Fly-In is an invaluable event for our members to directly engage with their representatives on the critical issues facing the imported woods industry,” said IWPA Executive Director Ashley Amidon.“It is a great opportunity to communicate how the legislative and regulatory landscape impacts us as we meet our commitments to building acceptance and demand for the legally-sourced and sustainable wood products.”
Approximately 30 IWPA members will attend the three-day event. More than fifteen legislative meetings have been scheduled to discuss issues including:
CITES and the upcoming CoP19– A subset of wood products imports are subject to international trade regulations imposed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently preparing for the upcoming 19th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP19), during which nations party to CITES will come together review implementation of the Convention and consider proposals to impose additional trade restrictions on new species. IWPA is participating in the FWS’s ongoing stakeholder outreach to inform development of its negotiating positions for CoP19, and encouraging advocacy on behalf of sound, science-based decisions that avoid unnecessary restrictions on trade in legally- and sustainably-sourced wood products.
Lacey Act compliance– IWPA supports compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Unfortunately, the implementation of the Lacey Act may differ from source country to source country, port to port, and even enforcement officer to enforcement officer. This often causes delays in shipments and costs significant money even if no wrongdoing is ever found. IWPA is asking for clear guidance from Fish and Wildlife to importers and to its officers so that these types of delays can be avoided.
Retroactive renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences Program (GSP)– The Generalized System of Preferences program eliminates duties for thousands of products such as plywood from qualifying developing countries. Implemented to offer “trade, not aid,” the program provides meaningful and predictable duty savings for numerous sectors, including wood importers and our customers, while fostering economic growth in developing countries. GSP expired December 31, 2020 and IWPA requests that Congress retroactively reauthorize this essential program. U.S. companies have paid more than $140 million in extra tariffs on wood products due to GSP expiration. 66% of tariffs were on plywood used by U.S. manufacturers like RVs and homebuilders, followed by tariffs on wooden doors and joinery (22%) used by homebuilders. When GSP is not authorized, costs are borne by US companies and consumers.
About The International Wood Products Association
Established in 1956, the International Wood Products Association (www.IWPAwood.org) is the leading international trade association for the North American imported wood products industry, representing 220 companies and trade associations engaged in the import of hardwoods and softwoods from sustainably managed forests. Association members consist of three key groups involved in the import process: U.S. importers and consuming industries, offshore manufacturers and the service providers that facilitate trade.