Shared from the 10/7/2019 The Columbian eEdition

Lumber mill to close because of trade war

MOUNT VERNON — A lumber mill west of Burlington that employs 70 will close in November due to ongoing trade disputes between the United States and China, the company announced last week.

Tacoma-based Northwest Hardwoods, which operates the mill on Farm to Market Road, will close Nov. 20, according to a statement emailed to the Skagit Valley Herald from a company spokesman.

The mill’s 70 workers will be laid off indefinitely, according to the statement.

“This difficult decision was made after exploring all other options and as prospects dimmed for a quick resolution to the U.S. and China trade dispute,” the statement said.

U.S. hardwood lumber exports to China have decreased by about 40 percent since July 2018, following China’s retaliatory tariffs on imports of U.S. lumber and wood products, according to a Sept. 26 Wall Street Journal article, which first reported the mill closure.

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