New Chinese tariff boosts local timber industry

Medford, Ore. – Congressman Walden toured the Timber Products facility today to see firsthand how the tariff on China’s imports have already benefited the local product. He heard from many employees who say they are grateful for his efforts.

Representative Walden is back at the Timber Products plant for the first time since he helped to raise tariffs on Chinese plywood imports.

“The trade case that we fought and won at the ITC is making a real difference for the Rogue Valley in terms of getting new jobs to mills all across southern Oregon,” Walden said.

Representative Walden last visited Timber Products in August of 2017, that’s when the workers brought forward concerns about how the Chinese trade was affecting local output.

“Almost 50% of our imported market in the United States was coming out of China, and it was coming at such a low price, they call it dumping, it was making it very, very hard to compete,” said Mill Manager, Brent Siegel.

Brent Siegel has been the mill manager for a year and he says he’s thankful that Congressman Walden actually listened.

“You feel like the small guy, you know, we’re in the timber industry and the timber industry is kind of a smaller industry, but we got listened to,” Siegel said.

The tariffs are already bringing positive changes for the company. Since the tariffs were imposed, Timber Products has been able to add on a graveyard shift and expects to increase jobs by 25 percent.

“I think you’re going to see a long term gain in the hardwood plywood market and in lumber products because the demand is there and now they get a fair fight to compete,” Congressman Walden said.

Congressman Walden also spoke about the new bill that was passed to include new management tools and payment strategies to handle forest fires. He hopes this bill will continue to help the local timber industry and the community in southern Oregon.

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