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U.S. Senate passes ban on illegal wood imports


December 18, 2007
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Washington,DC — The U.S. Senate has passed ground-breaking legislation to stop the import of illegally logged timb…

Washington,DC — The U.S. Senate has passed ground-breaking legislation to stop the import of illegally logged timber and wood products as part of the Farm Bill. Currently, the U.S. government has no authority to take enforcement action against the import of illegally logged wood products.

Since early 2007, the U.S. Congress has moved to take action to stop the impact of U.S. demand on illegal logging around the world. In March of that year, congressmen introduced the bipartisan Legal Timber Protection Act, which was unanimously passed by the House Committee on Natural Resources last month and awaits approval by the full House of Representatives.

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The Environmental Investigation Agency has been working with a broad coalition of environmental, labour, and industry groups, including the American Forest & Paper Association and the Hardwood Federation, to find innovative solutions to the global problem of illegal logging.

In a report published in November called “No Questions Asked,” EIA estimated that approximately 10% of U.S. wood product annual imports, or $3.8 billion dollars, are derived from illegally logged timber. It also found that despite an express ban on Indonesian sawn timber exports, 1,570 such shipments entered the U.S. over a two year span ending November 2006 — equal to more than 2 shipments per day. On December 12th, an EIA report called “Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers” revealed undercover evidence collected in China of Wal-Mart’s high risk of selling products made of illegal timber.

Alexander von Bismarck, executive director of the EIA noted: “The U.S.s actions will have important impacts on consuming markets worldwide, as theyre being watched in the European Union and other consuming countries where similar legislation is being considered.”

Source: Environmental Investigation Agency


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