The leadership displayed by the Trump Administration regarding the rebuilding of our nation’s infrastructure has provided a generational opportunity to rebuild and modernize the backbone of the American economy. As Congress and the Administration examine the state of our economy, FLA is encouraging the concept of “buy America” to include the use of US wood products in all federally funded projects including infrastructure projects. The use of US wood will help revitalize rural communities and economies throughout rural forestry communities.
US forest landowners, who play a critical role in supplying the nation’s timber requirements, will benefit significantly from a federal infrastructure bill because of the depth to which the wood products value chain extends. A recent study commisioned by the Forest Landowner Foundation on the wood products value chain found that by 2020, a $1 trillion infrastructure investment would create an additional 19,000 jobs in the woods product sub-sector and 4400 jobs in the forestry and logging sub-sectors. Furthermore, a $1 trillion infrastructure investment would lead to the forestry and logging sub-sectors experiencing increases in sales output of approximately $500 million in 2020.
As US forest landowners and taxpayers, it is the hope of the FLA members that when our government purchases wood products for federally funded projects, that these wood products come from US grown and manufactured wood. The Administration’s commitment to rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure combined with the requirement to use US wood in not only infrastructure projects but all federal projects, can serve as a mechanism to revitalize rural communities and establish a platform for economic prosperity.