January 11, 2024

DHA eNews – DHA Challenge To Misleading Marketing Recognized

This Week's Insights

As we start 2024, we are pleased to learn that DHA's challenge to the misleading marketing of laminate as "wood" has been recognized by Wood Floor Business as one of the top two stories for all of 2023. This is just one example of the importance of DHA's work and accomplishments in 2023 and shows why it is important to be a DHA member in 2024.

We will face several challenges in our industry this year, including in the areas of regulatory policies and trade. The European Union Deforestation Regulation is sure to cause difficulties for those exporting to Europe. DHA continues to work with the American Hardwood Export Council on compliance with the regulation and understanding the challenge.

We will continue to work with partners to recognize the beauty and benefits of real decorative hardwood products. The Hardwood Federation is advocating for legislation to fund the promotion of U.S. hardwoods. We will continue to leverage and promote the climate benefits of wood products, recently officially recognized by the Department of Energy.

If you have questions or comments, contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Keith A. Christman, President
Decorative Hardwoods Association

Wood Floor Business Recognizes DHA Challenge To Misleading Marketing

DHA's challenge to laminate flooring marketed as "wood" was recognized as one of the top two most popular, most-read stories of 2023 by Wood Floor Business.

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New Changes To EUDR

A newly published FAQ by the European Commission shows some positive changes in how the controversial EU Deforestation Regulation will be implemented. While the new FAQ is marginally better and appears to support a compliance system AHEC is developing, it's based on a flawed regulation that imposes significant bureaucratic and discriminatory requirements on small farmers—even where risks are negligible.

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DOE: Wood Products Are A Carbon Sink

Scientists at the Department of Energy and Yale concluded that effectively managed U.S. forests can remove one billion metric tons of atmospheric carbon by 2050, making forest management a key pillar of U.S. net zero emissions targets. The report cites EPA data showing that U.S. forests and "the wood products they produce removed about 800 million (metric tons) of carbon in 2021" and lists biomass fuel production as a tactic to help mitigate carbon emissions.

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New Bill Would Provide $25 Million To Promote U.S. Hardwoods

New bipartisan legislation, supported by the Hardwood Federation, is designed to increase demand for hardwood products. If passed, the bill would authorize grants of $25 million over five years to support the hardwood industry and research into the consumer benefits of hardwoods.

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U.S. Introduces Law To Fight Illegal Deforestation

Bipartisan legislation, the Fostering Overseas Rule of Law and Environmentally Sound Trade Act, was reintroduced in December. The goal of the FOREST Act is to fight illegal deforestation by preventing commodities from illegally deforested land from being sold in the U.S. Earlier versions of the bill included timber, pulp, and paper; these were removed as they are covered under the Lacey Act.

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Bipartisan Bill Invests In Forestry Workforce

The bipartisan Workforce Pell Act would provide opportunities for students and workers who want to acquire skills in high-demand fields, to help address the shortage of skilled labor in forestry and other industries.

New Customs Modernization Act Introduced

The goal of the new Customs Modernization Act is to help U.S. Customs pursue lawbreakers by enhancing the agency's authority and improving its access to relevant data. DHA-supported coalitions are working to advance the bipartisan bill. 

Pat Oakley Promoted To President At Mullican Flooring

DHA Member Mullican Flooring has promoted Pat Oakley to president. Oakley succeeds Neil Poland, who will serve as executive chairman of the company. A veteran of the hardwood flooring industry for more than 25 years, Oakley joined Mullican Flooring in 2000.

Columbia Featured In Bay Area Discovery Museum

DHA member Columbia Forest Products' hardwood plywood is featured in the renovated Bay Area Discovery Museum and shows the wooded and rocky areas that surround the region. One of the most architecturally innovative uses of Columbia’s products can also be found in the museum.

See A Snapshot Of The 2023 U.S. Woodworking Industry

In 2023, California led the U.S. in the manufacture of wood cabinets, residential furniture, office furniture, architectural woodwork, windows and doors, fixtures, and wood containers. Florida led in the production of flooring and other millwork.

Wood Flooring Industry Cautiously Optimistic

The U.S. wood flooring industry is cautiously optimistic about 2024. 21% of manufacturers expect sales to grow significantly, another 41% expect sales to grow somewhat, and 24% expect sales to remain about the same. Only 14% of respondents expect a decline.

Kitchen & Bath Market Sentiment Positive But Concerned

A nationwide survey of kitchen and bath design and remodeling firms predicts modest gains in revenue in 2024. However, respondents are concerned about how rising costs and labor constraints will affect the bottom line.

Cabinets, Countertops Expect Growth In 2024

49% of cabinet and countertop manufacturers expect higher sales in 2024, particularly in the second half of the year. Experts predict that U.S. demand for cabinets will grow by more than 3% per year to reach $26.5 billion in 2026.

Chinese Furniture Importer Fined For Tariff Evasion

A ready-to-assemble furniture importer based in China has agreed to pay about $800,000 in additional customs duties for furniture imports from China after U.S. Customs alleged that the company conspired to underreport the value of imported goods.

U.S. New Home Sales Drop By 12%
U.S. Home Prices Cool Faster Than Usual
Canada's Housing Starts Down By 22%
Canadian Home Prices Fall By 0.4%
Expect Better Housing Conditions In 2024
Mortgage Rates Stabilize
Construction Job Openings Rise To Highest Levels Since 2022
U.S. Manufacturing Declines For 14th Consecutive Month
Most Homeowners Will Invest In Home Improvement Instead Of Buying New
Economists Predict A Turnaround In Housing In 2024
Wood Trivia: Test Your Knowledge

What are the three most common hardwood trees in North America?

Answer: Bur oak, red oak, and sugar maple.

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