Wood Products – A Critical Industry During COVID-19
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has declared the wood products industry a critical infrastructure industry during the COVID-19 outbreak. Functioning infrastructure is especially important during the response to the COVID-19 emergency not only for public health and safety but for community well-being as well. Guidelines issued March 19 by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) acknowledge the importance of the wood products industry by including the following as essential functions under food and agriculture: “Workers who support the manufacture and distribution of forest products, including, but not limited to timber, paper, and other wood products.”
At the same time, widespread shutdowns and shelter-in-place measures across the country are dealing heavy blows to a variety of industries. The Klausner Lumber One sawmill has ceased production, Interfor recently announced production curtailments and capital expenditure reductions, and West Fraser has also announced curtailments in response to market conditions. Although the effects of the current economic downturn have certainly been felt, the CISA announcement is good news for many and should help preserve the health of the industry through these uncertain times.
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