The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that U.S. manufacturers and importers of softwood lumber approved continuing their federal research and promotion program. Industry representatives voted in a referendum April 17 through May 14, 2018.
In the referendum, 78 percent of manufacturers and importers voting, who represented 94 percent of the volume of softwood lumber, were in favor of continuing the program. Over 50 percent of votes cast and over 50 percent of the volume represented were required for the program to continue.
To participate in the referendum, manufacturers and importers must have domestically manufactured and shipped or imported 15 million board feet or more of softwood lumber between Jan.1 and Dec. 31, 2017. The order establishing the program requires USDA to conduct a referendum seven years after it took effect to determine whether the industry was in favor of continuing the program.
The Softwood Lumber program was developed to strengthen the position of softwood lumber in the marketplace, maintain and expand markets for softwood lumber and develop new uses for softwood lumber within the United States. The Softwood Lumber Board has administered the program since 2011.
Research and promotion programs help to expand, maintain and develop markets for individual commodities in the United States and abroad. Since 1966, Congress has authorized 22 industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool their resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.
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