Illegal loggers undermine the competitive advantage of legal producers by selling unlawfully cut or stolen wood at artificially low prices. This practice creates trade distortions that decrease the global price of legal wood by about 16 percent.
In a 2007 letter to Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), the American Forest & Paper Association noted that illegal logging contributed to mill closures, job cuts and an estimated billion dollar in losses for the wood industry. The World Bank estimates that illegal logging costs governments and businesses at least $10 billion to $15 billion in losses each year.
Illegal logging imposes unacceptable costs including putting the wood industry in financial jeopardy, threatening jobs, and harming the wider economy.
Illegal logging also causes significant damage to tropical forests by reducing biodiversity, destroying soil, damaging trees and releasing carbon dioxide that contributes to global climate change. Every year illegal logging contributes to tropical forest loss, which in total is roughly the size of Pennsylvania. It is clear that forests are crucial to the health of the planet.
Illegal logging represents a major threat to the environment and the US economy. Which is why the Lacey Act, the US legislation that protects against illegal logging, must be upheld.
© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
The Economic and Employment Benefits of Forests
What The Business Community Can Do To Protect Forests
The Lacey Act Combats Illegal Logging
Challenge to the Lacey Act
Scientists Defend the Lacey Act
Video: Reducing Emissions Through Forest Preservation with REDD