Here’s the latest from the Hardwood Federation…
Bipartisan Senate Posse Pushes Ag Exports
On September 23, Senators Angus King (I-ME), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports (CREAATE) Act of 2022, which would double funding for USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program. Both programs are critical to expanding global market access for U.S.-produced agricultural exports, including hardwood products. There is limited time on the current Congressional calendar to move the bill forward before the end of the year, but the hardwood industry remains optimistic because a bipartisan group of senators is in agreement on the need to increase support for international agricultural market development; this bill will be reintroduced when a new Congress convenes in January.
Senators Introduce Bipartisan Tree-Thinning Bill
More bipartisan action on forest-related issues! On September 21, Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced a bipartisan bill to improve forest restoration and hazardous fuels reduction efforts at the Forest Service and BLM. The bill requires federal agencies to double the number of acres thinned mechanically by 2025 (from the 2017 to 2021 baseline) and quadruple the number treated by 2027. As with the bill noted above, there is limited time to move this proposal forward. However, chances are good it will come back in 2023, perhaps as part of the Farm Bill negotiations. To view a summary of the bill, please click here.
HFPAC Kicks Into High Gear In Late September
With Congress in session these past two weeks, HFPAC has been making the rounds, supporting a bipartisan group of incumbents who sit on important committees that oversee key industry issues. The congressional roster includes Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The House-side line-up includes Reps. Carol Miller (R-WV), David Kustoff (R-TN), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Rick Allen (R-GA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Troy Balderson (R-OH) and Joe Neguse (D-CO).