MEDFORD, Ore. — Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) toured the warehouse of Timber Products Co. in Medford today, following up on a visit that he made in August of 2017.
Unfair trade practices from industries in China—including the manufacture and export of hardwood plywood—have hurt local wood manufacturers like Timber Products, according to Rep. Walden's office. After hearing the company's concerns in 2017, the congressman vowed to address the matter.
Tariffs on Chinese hardwood producers have now shot up almost 200 percent. According to Rep. Walden's office, his work with the International Trade Commission (ITC) helped to initiate the new fees.
Rep. Walden joined with Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Eugene) in praising the ITC's ruling in a press release from December 1, 2017:
“For too long, hardwood plywood mills in Oregon have suffered from the unfair trade practices China has used to corner this vital market and threaten family-wage jobs in our state,” said Reps. DeFazio and Walden. “Today’s announcement by the ITC is welcome news that will protect U.S. timber jobs and sends the clear signal that using illegal trade practices to hurt American companies, cost American jobs, and harm our timber-dependent communities is unacceptable."
Timber Products will now be able to hire more people onto their workforce, said Rep. Walden's office.
According to investigations from the Department of Commerce, the Chinese government has been "unfairly" subsidizing their hardwood industry—allowing their producers to drop prices so low that U.S. companies can't compete, even with domestic buyers.
Kate Houston will have the full story tonight at 5 & 6 p.m., only on NewsWatch 12.