Ending Deforestation Would Boost US Revenues – Report

Ending deforestation would boost revenue for US producers by between
$196 and $267 billion by 2030, according to new estimates.

The report ,titled “Farms Here, Forests There: Tropical Deforestation
and U.S. Competitiveness in Agriculture and Timber,” shows overseas
agriculture and logging operations are expanding production by cutting
down the world’s rainforests, allowing them to flood the world market
with cheap commodities that undercut American goods.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) and other US farm, forest products and labor groups called on Congress and the administration to help end tropical deforestation.

During a teleconference releasing the report, NFU, the American Forest & Paper Association, United Steelworkers (representing forest products workers), and the Ohio Corn Growers Association called for the protection of tropical forests as part of comprehensive energy and climate legislation and other policies.

“American farmers and ranchers know the importance of being good stewards of the land,” said NFU President Roger Johnson, who recently returned from a weeklong trip to Brazil where he studied the interaction between agriculture and deforestation. “With family farmers fighting to hold onto their land, we’ve got to make sure we’re not being undercut by irresponsible practices like deforestation.”

The study demonstrates that properly constructed international offsets can substantially increase U.S farm income while simultaneously reducing US Farm input costs. It is estimated that ending deforestation will boost revenue for U.S. producers by between $196 and $267 billion by 2030–approximately equivalent to the entire amount projected to be spent by farmers on energy during that time, while also saving agriculture and related industries an estimated $49 billion in compliance costs.

“Climate legislation currently being considered in Congress needs to include appropriate incentives to address tropical deforestation while also promoting U.S. agriculture,” said Johnson.

As a result of the need for increased production from ending deforestation, producers across the United States of commodities like soybeans, beef, timber, palm oil and palm oil substitutes stand to gain billions of dollars in revenue.

The report was authored by Shari Friedman of David Gardiner & Associates on behalf of the National Farmers Union and Avoided Deforestation Partners. It is available at the link below, along with state-by-state and industry-by-industry data on the effect of tropical deforestation on US agriculture and timber producers.

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