The latest casualty in China’s trade war with Australia is the import suspension of Western Australian native hardwoods. WA and NSW are the latest states to be affected joining Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and SA. The issue WAFMA has always had with the export on native hardwoods is the furniture returning to Australia having been constructed from these timbers is then often portrayed by retailers as locally made.
Saw millers are saying that the suspension of imports by China may affect their business viability therefore their ability to supply local markets. WAFMA has no concerns about the suspension of hardwood sales into China but the issue is more complex and somewhat deceiving. Much of China’s timber related industries have relocated to Vietnam however they tend to still be wholly owned and operated by Chinese. This action has been largely taken to avoid U.S tariffs and the general anti-China sentiment in the western world. WAFMA has requested information from the Forest Industries Federation (WA) regarding the volume of hardwood exports to Vietnam but awaits response