Trump's Canada Feud May Help Oregon, Washington Timber Economy

  • States top producers of softwood lumber within the U.S.
  • Trump announced tariffs up to 24 percent on Canadian imports

Ross Says U.S. Would Welcome New Canadian Lumber Proposal

President Donald Trump’s tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber may create some winners in the U.S. -- specifically Oregon and Washington.

Oregon is the top U.S. producer of the building material, accounting for 17 percent of U.S. output in 2015, according to the most recent data available from the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, a group created by the state legislature. Washington state comes in second with 12 percent of U.S. production.

The tariffs, which can go up to 24 percent, may draw legal action from Canada and could raise the prices of U.S. homes. The impact on Oregon and Washington state economies may be limited and would most likely be felt at the local level, said Jennifer Hansen, an analyst at S&P Global Ratings.

Here are the Oregon counties with the highest share of their employment in the forestry industry based on state figures, with the amount of municipal bonds each county has outstanding, according to data compiled by Bloomberg:

CountyPercentage employment in forest sectorMunis outstanding within county
Grant20.2 percent$3 million
Douglas13.2 percent$121 million
Lake12.9 percentless than $1 million

Here are the Washington counties with the highest share of their employment in the wood products, forestry and logging, according to Paul Turek, state economist with the Washington State Employment Security Department:

CountyPercentage employment in wood products, forestry and loggingMunis outstanding within county
Lewis9.1 percent$219 million
Stevens7.2 percent0
Grays Harbor6.2 percent$263 million

— With assistance by Sowjana Sivaloganathan

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