The Effects of the 2008 Lacey Act Amendment on International Trade in Forest Products
Bridegam, Patrick Alan
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Despite international efforts, illegal logging and its associated social, ecological, and economic effects continue on a scale that is of global concern, with significant amounts of illegally-harvested wood and the resulting wood products entering into international trade flows. Recently, major importers of forest products have begun to implement legislation, such as the U.S. Lacey Act amendment of 2008, prohibiting the possession and/or importation of wood and wood products that are of illegal origin. To date, no studies have systematically investigated the effects of the 2008 Lacey Act amendment on the international trade of forest products. Drawing on bilateral trade data and using a quantitative, regression-based comparative case study methodology, the effects of the 2008 Lacey Act amendment on the international trade in forest products were evaluated. A data-driven method was used to create aggregate control groups for comparisons with countries affected by the policy. If the policy has been effective in reducing the amount of forest products of illegal origin being imported into the U.S., we would expect to see some unique differences in post-policy U.S. imports of wood and wood products from areas with high levels of suspicious wood in their supplies. Results from these analyses show no significant differences in post-policy U.S. imports of wood products of suspicious origins. However, the policy may be affecting the suspicious imports of major exporters of finished products to the U.S.
- Forestry