July 10, 2024

DHA-Supported American Hardwoods Ads Reach 93 Million Consumers

This Week's Insights

DHA and our allies are promoting real American hardwoods—and reaching nearly 93 million consumers. The Real American Hardwood ad campaign has gone live again on the Magnolia Network, the cable TV network owned by industry influencers Chip and Joanna Gaines. Still in its initial phases, the results of the ad campaign are already very promising.

In every newsletter, including this one, I highlight new regulations that pose new challenges to our industry. When done right, these regulations can improve the environment and health and safety. But, too often, they increase our industry's production costs with little or no benefit. Fortunately, in recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has put a halt to regulations that are not authorized by Congress. The Court's most recent finding also overturned "Chevron Deference," ending the practice of courts deferring to federal agencies' interpretations of ambiguous laws.

Finally, I'm saddened to report the passing of William "Bill" J. Groah, Jr.  Bill worked for DHA and our predecessor organizations directly for 38 years. After his retirement, he continued to write for DHA, including doing a first draft of these newsletters until earlier this year. I appreciated his help and will miss him.

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

Keith A. Christman, President
Decorative Hardwoods Association

DHA-Supported American Hardwoods Ads Reach 93 Million Consumers

The Real American Hardwood Coalition has extended its consumer advertising campaign with the Magnolia Network after a four-month hiatus. In just two weeks since the ads began running, the campaign has experienced an increase of more than 1,200% in consumer engagement, including television, streaming, paid social media, and Google ads. The Magnolia ads reach a targeted audience of nearly 93 million consumers who are highly motivated homebuyers and renovators. The ads will run through the end of 2024.

China Opposes EUDR

China has joined numerous countries, including the U.S., in raising concerns about the European Union Deforestation Regulation that is set to go into effect on December 31. China stated that it refuses to share geolocation data, as required by the EUDR, because of security concerns. China is one of the EU's largest suppliers of forest products.

Updated Revision Of HP-1 Is Ready For Comment

The second draft of the revised HP-1 standard is available for your comments until Monday, August 12.

BSR/HPVA HP-1-202x, the latest revision of the American National Standard for Hardwood and Decorative Plywood (ANSI/HPVA HP-1-2020), establishes marketing classifications, quality criteria, and much more. The draft includes revisions to veneer grading tables and other content. 

For an electronic copy of the standard, email Josh Hosen. Send your comments to jhosen@decorativehardwoods.org, cc: psa@ansi.org.

U.S. Supreme Court Deals Blow To Regulatory State

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a devastating blow to the federal regulatory machine with the decision to overturn "Chevron deference." This landmark ruling, by a 6–3 vote, ends the practice of courts deferring to federal agencies' interpretations of ambiguous laws and shifts the responsibility to the courts.

OSHA Proposes New Workplace Heat Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed a new rule for workplace heat standards due to record-breaking temperatures, especially during the summer. It applies to outdoor and indoor work, imposing four additional requirements on employers when the heat index exceeds 90 degrees.

The requirements include mandatory 15-minute rest breaks for all employees every two hours, observing workers to check for symptoms, periodic check-ins with isolated employees, and reminders to workers to rest and drink water.

USDA Changes Old-Growth Forest Plan Process

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a draft document that would open existing forest plans to amendments, creating opportunities to remove more acreage from timber harvest. DHA is providing input to the Hardwood Federation as they submit comments. USDA has facilitated regional meetings to discuss the proposed change; register to attend the summary session on July 31.

Supreme Court Suspends Some Clean Air Act Regulations

On June 27, the Supreme Court suspended "good neighbor" air quality rules for 23 states as businesses have challenged some of the regulations limiting ground-level ozone or smog. Under the Clean Air Act good neighbor policy, upwind states must act to limit the movement of air pollution to a neighboring state. The reason for the court's ruling: not suspending the rules during litigation could cost companies, including power plants, "hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars."

U.S. Imports Of Engineered Wood Flooring Are Climbing

U.S. imports of engineered wood flooring have increased, yet again. Year-to-date through May, imports were up by more than 12% in value and 7.6% in volume. Imports from Vietnam led, as the value of imports from Vietnam grew by almost 25% to more than $102 million.


New: AHEC Issues Special EUDR Report

The American Hardwood Export Council is working hard to develop the framework that will allow U.S. exporters of hardwoods, before the end of this year, to provide a robust due diligence statement to demonstrate that each shipment of wood is from legal, deforestation-free sources. That said, after a heavy investment of time and effort to create a solution that complies fully with the EUDR, AHEC has concluded that some requirements of the regulation are essentially impossible for the U.S. hardwood sector to meet.

U.S. Hardwood Exports To Europe Are Stable

Year-to-date through May, U.S. exports of hardwood lumber to Europe remained stable vs. last year at about 138,163 cubic meters. However, shipments to most of the major EU markets have declined, while exports to the UK were up by 37% to 54,463 cubic meters, accounting for nearly 40% of all shipments. Most of the increase was white oak, up 88% to 32,127 cubic meters, which in itself is more than the volume of all shipments of all species to Italy and Germany.

China Buys 90% Of Russia's Plywood; Final Destination Is A Mystery

China's increasing reliance on Russian timber is a major risk to the world's supply chain for plywood products. Russia is ramping up plywood production; exports to China have surged by more than 344%.

Timber Revenue Is Critical For Education, Says Washington State

Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz visited high schools to emphasize the critical role timber sales play in supporting school districts. This is yet another element that shows just how important the forest products sector is to the U.S. rural economy.

Cabinet Importer Guilty Of Lacey Act Violation

A Washington cabinet importer pled guilty to making false declarations about the species and harvest location of timber used in five shipping containers' worth of wooden cabinets and vanities. The products, fraudulently declared as a false species of wood harvested in Malaysia, were made of wood harvested in China and were produced in China. In addition to paying $850,000 in outstanding duties, the company was fined $350,000 and is now on probation.

Capital Testing Welcomes New Fire Tech

Capital Testing has welcomed a new fire lab technician to its team. Tony Norris is a mechanical engineer and graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a degree in chemical engineering. He will focus on sample preparation and flame spread observation for Capital Testing's Steiner tunnel.

Remembering Bill Groah

We regret to inform you that Bill Groah, respected hardwoods industry expert, has passed. In 1958, Bill went to work for DHA's predecessor organization. Bill worked for DHA for 38 years as a wood technologist and oversaw all laboratory and technical activities until his retirement in 1996. His work and expertise in the effects of formaldehyde led to multiple consultations and the crafting of regulations. While he officially "retired" in 1996, he continued to serve as a consultant for many years, drafting opinion and review articles for regulatory agencies, and researching and drafting the organization's newsletter twice monthly until his passing at age 93. He is survived by his wife, Virginia; his son, William M. Groah; his daughter, Suzanne Groah; and his grandchildren. He will be missed. 

Extreme Wildfires Have Doubled Over Past Two Decades

A new study has documented how the frequency and intensity of extreme wildfires have more than doubled over the past two decades as the planet warms. Researchers used satellite records to study nearly 3,000 wildfires that were deemed to have tremendous "radiative power."

Congress Introduces Wildfire Prevention & Forest Management Legislation

Lawmakers introduced the Fix Our Forests Act, a comprehensive, bipartisan bill to restore forest health, protect communities from megafires, and reduce catastrophic wildfires. The bill is designed to simplify and expedite environmental reviews and to recognize the role that natural fire plays in healthy ecosystems.

U.S. Adds More Jobs Than Expected, Again
U.S. Manufacturing Continues Downward Trend
U.S. Construction Job Openings Fall By 38,000
Consumer Sentiment Cools
U.S. Housing Starts Drop To A Four-Year Low
Record High Prices, Rising Mortgage Rates Depress U.S. Home Sales
Private Residential Construction Spending Dips
Wood Trivia: Test Your Knowledge

Which hardwoods are most commonly used to give smoked meat more flavor in Texas barbeque?

Answer: Hickory, oak, pecan, and mesquite.

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