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Closure of County Lumber Mill Puts 70 Jobs at Risk

Author:Zhengyang MachineryTimes:2019-10-16
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Tacoma-based Northwest Hardwoods has announced permanent closure of its lumber mill, west of Burlington. The operations of the mill are expected to come to a close by November 20, 2019. The company blamed worsening trade dispute between the U.S. and China for the closure. Approximately 70 workers at the mill will be indefinitely laid off.
 
According to company press release, the demand for U.S. hardwood has been witnessing drastic fall in demand ever since the commencement of trade dispute between the two countries. It foresees permanent disruption of supply chains, as China looks to other countries for its hardwood requirements. The decision to close the mill was taken after exploring all other options. The company recognizes that the announcement may be painful for several members of its extended community, the press release noted.
 
Prior to almost a year, China had been the largest destination market for American hardwoods. The U.S. hardwood industry had been exporting almost $2 billion worth of products to China every year. The industry, with an overall direct economic impact of $135 million, had employed nearly 685,000 people. However, the trade dispute with China has led to nearly 43% decline in hardwood exports.
 
Other countries such as Russia have turned out to become the direct beneficiaries, doubling their market shares in China.

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