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Individual Highlight

A Scientist Finds that the Lacey Act Amendment of 2008 Works to Limit Illegal Wood Imports

Photo of Seized illegal logs in Riau, Indonesia. CIFORSeized illegal logs in Riau, Indonesia. CIFORSnapshot : Forest Service scientist Jeffrey Prestemon evaluated U.S. import trade data from countries that are suspected sources of illegally obtained wood. Using statistical analysis, results showed that the quantity of tropical lumber and hardwood plywood imports from such countries in Asia and Latin America were reduced by double-digit percentages while prices were increased.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Prestemon, Jeffrey P.  
Research Location : Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
Research Station : Southern Research Station (SRS)
Year : 2015
Highlight ID : 932


The Lacey Act Amendment of 2008 was enacted to reduce the global demand for illegally obtained timber products; it includes for the first time any tree species illegally obtained in the country of origin and any product (such as wood, paper, or pulp) that contains illegally obtained tree material. Although the U.S. consumes a relatively small share of wood from countries suspected of having high rates of illegal wood production, having such material entering global markets affects U.S. producers by depressing wood prices globally. This study found double-digit percentage increases in prices and decreases in quantities of tropical lumber imports from Bolivia, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Peru corresponding with the timing of the new trade measure. Similarly, large changes in hardwood plywood import prices and quantities from Brazil, Indonesia, and Malaysia have also occurred, with smaller effects found on imports from China, Ecuador, and Taiwan.

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