The Trump-Pence administration will be “the worst thing that’s happened in decades” in the wood products industry
President-elect Donald Trump has said he will sign an executive order to “revamp” the US lumber industry.
Mr Trump made the announcement during a campaign event in California on Thursday.
“This is the worst thing in decades,” Mr Trump said.
“It’s been an absolute disaster for the industry, and the workers.”
Mr Trump said the move would “put the US on a collision course with China”.
“They will go out and make their own lumber, but they’re going to make our lumber and they’re doing a very, very bad job.
They’re taking our jobs, they’re taking all our jobs and they want to do it for less money.”
“I want to take care of the workers, and I want to make sure that they’re treated fairly and fairly by the people who make the products,” he added.
Mr Obama’s administration has been accused of taking unfair advantage of the US timber industry for political purposes.
China, the world’s largest wood consumer, said it would not support the move and warned that the Trump administration was making a “mistake” by signing an executive action on wood products.
Chinese President Xi Jinping met Mr Trump at the White House on Thursday to discuss the issue.
‘Trumps’ lumber imports have been hurt for decades’ In an interview with the BBC last week, Mr Trump argued that imports of lumber from China were “trumps” business.
But US lumber producers have warned that this is not the case.
Last week, the US Department of Commerce’s (USC) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Economics (OSBE) said that the country’s imports of wood products fell sharply in the first half of this year.
It said US mills accounted for a third of the total US wood output, down from almost a quarter a decade earlier.
The number of US mills fell to 13,000, a drop of nearly 60 per cent since 2013, when the first US president took office.
Wood product exports to China fell to $1.5bn in the last six months of 2016, according to the latest figures from the US Census Bureau.
However, Mr Trumps decision to move to an “America first” approach has also been criticised by China.
President Xi Jinping (R) with US President Donald Trump during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, September 19, 2020.
In February, Mr Xi made a visit to the US, promising that the US-China relationship would improve.
While the US imports about a third the volume of China’s lumber, the two countries have very similar lumber standards.
Both have “Made in the USA” or “Made-in-China” label on their products.