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Key Economic Trends

  • The U.S. trade deficit in forest products declined by nearly one-half in 2008, as exports increased and imports decreased. The continued deterioration in the U.S. residential housing market was an important factor in this trend.
  • U.S. imports of lumber, wood veneer and wood panels, and moldings, millwork, and joinery declined sharply in 2008, as weakness in the housing market reduced demand and prices for these products.
  • U.S. exports of forest products rose by 7 percent, driven primarily by increased exports of wood pulp and wastepaper and industrial papers and paperboards.
  • Canada is the largest U.S. trading partner in forest products, followed by China, Mexico, and Japan. These four countries accounted for 40 percent, 14 percent, 8 percent, and 3 percent, respectively, of total U.S. trade in forest products in 2008.

Trade Shifts in 2008 from 2007

  • U.S. trade deficit: Decreased by $6.5 billion (49 percent) to $6.9 billion
  • U.S. exports: U.S. exports: Increased by $2.3 billion (7 percent) to $35.4 billion
  • U.S. imports: Decreased by $4.3 billion (9 percent) to $42.3 billion

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