Several comments on this blog argue that the U.S. depends on forest products imports to satisfy its consumption. That’s half correct and misses the point.
In 2014, the U.S. bought forest products from other countries to the tune of $42 billion. We buy wood products from Canada, China, and the EU.
But, wait, there’s more! In 2014, the U.S. forest products industry also sold $41 billion of wood products to consumers in other countries — Canada, China, with the EU and Mexico tied for third. In other words, we buy as much wood stuff from other countries as we sell to other countries, and to and from the same countries, too.
It’s also worth noting that “Timber demands—not timber supplies—currently limit production growth in the United States” (quoting the abstract). The U.S. has seen a long-term decline in paper and pulp demand associated with decreasing manufacturing (less demand for cardboard boxes to package the stuff we aren’t making so much of) and increasing use of computers that replace paper to record and store information.
The U.S. forest products industry depends on trade. It depends on international trade agreements. It depends on interest rates, currency exchange rates, and other macroeconomic factors that serious people think about. Those people don’t care about national forest logging levels.