IWPA Issues in July
Alexandria, Virginia – The International Wood Products Association (IWPA) announced today the hiring of Ashley Amidon as the new IWPA Manager of Government and Public Affairs, replacing outgoing Manager, Brigid Shea.
IWPA tracked a number of developments in July on the legislative and regulatory spheres, and has remained hard at work on the upcoming publication of International Wood (due out in ---)
This month, we have focused on several issues
GSP and Trade Bills Experience Set Back
A preliminary hearing on three Free Trade bills was scheduled today but postponed when Senate Republicans objected to a linkage between the Korea Free Trade Agreement and a proposal to fund a package of benefits to workers who have lost their jobs due to increased imports. The Republicans remain supportive of the trade bills but it is not clear how they will proceed from this stand-off.
This delay affects renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) which was to be attached to the Colombia bill, along with the Andean Trade Preference Act.
Earlier this week IWPA's new Government Affairs Manager Ashley Amidon met with representatives from other trade associations, government agencies, and embassies to discss the movement of the three Free Trade Billls (Colombia, South Korea, Panama). As part of our legislative outreach, Brigid and Ashley also met with IWPA Treasurer Cindy Bergin's representative, Congressman Palazzo to present information on GSP and the Free Trade Bills. Representative Palazzo's staff indicated that Mr. Palazzo would support the trade bills and GSP.
Bolivia has 90 days to stop trade in Big-leaf mahogany and may act sooner
We first informed you in our April 27, 2011, eNews that the CITES Secretariat issued a notice of "urgent concern" concerning Bolivian exports of Swietenia macrophylla.
On June 9, 2011, the CITES Secretariat formally informed Bolivia that it has 90 days to put in place a zero export quota for Big-leaf mahogany. Once a zero quota is set then no trade in Big-leaf mahogany will be permitted until Bolivia can inform the CITES Secretariat of the process under which it is making non-detriment findings.
Although we do not have insight into Bolivia's timetable to inform the CITES Secretariat of the deadline to cease issuing export permits, the CITES Secretariat advises countries to communicate their intention to set a quota at least 30 days prior to the start of the period to which the export quota relates. When the Secretariat is informed about the export quotas it will post it on the following link:
The U.S. CITES authority is working with us to obtain more information regarding the status of merchandise that may be in transit and material that has been purchased pre-quota but not yet shipped.
Background: Bolivia's inability to make non-detriment findings initiated the "urgent concern" process.
OBAMA Administration Proposes Eliminating LIFO Accounting Method
LIFO is "last in first out" accounting method that is used by many IWPA members. LIFO has been mistakenly put forward as a debt-reduction measure.
Under the Obama proposal companies would have to switch to a "first-in, first-out" method that would generally make the cost of goods sold smaller, resulting in a higher taxable income; an ill-timed measure that will hit many business hard, particularly smaller businesses that may already be struggling.
IWPA is an active member in the Coalition to Preserve LIFO and Amidon met with the Coalition on Tuesday to discuss collective industry efforts to preserve this accounting practice.
ican and global market for legal and sustainable hardwood and softwood products.”
Brent J. McClendon, CAE
Executive Vice President
Manager, Government and Public Affairs