The Hardwood Federation: Working for You

The Hardwood Federation is proud to partner with and represent NHLA and their members in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.  Together, we support policies that create a healthy economic environment for the hardwood community, including family businesses and small companies, lead to a fair and level international playing field, and ensure healthy and productive public and private hardwood forests.

Having a coordinated and united voice in Washington is critical for the U.S. hardwood industry, particularly in light of the ongoing trade war with China and the significant impacts it has had for so many hardwood businesses.  Although making our message heard can feel like an almost impossible task, we must continue to reach out, communicate and advocate.  Failure is only assured by inaction.    The Federation is proud to serve as the coordinating voice of the industry on this and many other issues in Washington, D.C.  NHLA and their members are significant and highly valued contributors to our efforts.

The NHLA provides crucial financial and advocacy support to the Hardwood Federation, but at the same time, the direct participation of the NHLA’s membership cannot be underestimated, and we are grateful.

NHLA members:

  • come to Washington to meet and discuss policies impacting the industry with Members of Congress;
  • educate Members of Congress by hosting them in mills, yards, and facilities to give them a first-hand look at the industry;
  • write letters to and call Congressional offices, raising concerns about bad policy and applauding good policy; and
  • contribute financial resources, both on an individual and company basis, to the Hardwood Federation’s Political Action Committee and Administrative Operating Fund, both essential to our continued success.

What’s the return on all this support and involvement? 

It’s pretty significant. 

Trade issues have, of course, dominated our time in 2019.  Over the past several months the Federation team has successfully arranged meetings with policymakers at the highest levels in Washington D.C., including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, U.S.D.A Secretary Sonny Perdue, and Marc Short, Chief of Staff to Vice President Mike Pence. Members of the industry have been at the table to directly discuss how the trade tensions are impacting their businesses and their employees.  The Federation also worked tirelessly to communicate the need to continue negotiations and put certainty back into the global economy to Administration officials and countless House and Senate office on Capitol Hill.

Trade is a top priority, but it far from the only one.  The Hardwood Federation made significant progress on federal forest management reform, worked to ensure hardwood industry benefits in the 2018 Farm Bill Reauthorization and fought against misleading definitions of navigable waters that would have created unnecessary regulatory burdens for forest landowners.  The Hardwood Federation also worked closely with NHLA and our other member hardwood associations in the development of the hardwood industry’s first-ever economic impact study, providing us with valuable data and insight.

Keeping abreast of the issues and educating D.C. based policymakers has been and will continue to be our top priorities along with preserving the progress that we have made and fending off the inevitable bad policy ideas that emerge on a regular basis.  We cannot and will not be successful without the tireless energy and support of the entire NHLA team, staff and members alike. Thank you to each and every one of you…you inspire us to work harder to make a difference.

by DANA COLE, Executive Director Hardwood Federation