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Economic and Environmental Competitiveness of US-Made Forest Products: Implications for Offshore Outsourcing

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US imports of wood and paper products from countries with emerging economies such as China and Brazil have dramatically increased in recent decades, partially displacing US domestic production. Such displacements may have reduced the direct production costs of these products, yet generated indirect economic and environmental impacts that are not well understood or taken into account. This study uses general equilibrium modeling to assess and compare the economy-wide impacts and greenhouse gas (GHG) consequences between US domestic production and imports from China and Brazil. Both the United States and China will benefit from enhancing US production of wood and paper products. In addition, strengthening the US wood products industries can help reduce GHG emissions and conserve tropical natural forests as China and Brazil import or use more tropical logs to produce wood products than the United States. These findings reveal the economic and environmental advantages of increasing US production of forest products, particularly wood products.

Keywords: economy-wide impact; general equilibrium; greenhouse gases; job; production displacement

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 24, 2013

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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