Washington, D.C. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) and Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04) today introduced the No Timber From Tyrants Act to ban imports of forest products from Russia and Belarus. The bill would also ramp up responsible harvesting of American timber, make our forests more resilient, and fight back against Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The timber industry helped build the Pacific Northwest, and with more than 6.5 million acres of forestland, Eastern Washington is in a position to lead and deliver results,” said Rodgers. “By proactively managing these forests and responsibly harvesting more timber, we can increase exports to support our allies, decrease the world’s dangerous dependence on Russia, and make our lands more resilient to catastrophic wildfires.
“The No Timber From Tyrants Act is a win-win for Eastern Washington and the United States,” she continued. “Just like the American Energy Independence from Russia Act, this legislation will help us expand our energy dominance on the world stage and fight back against Putin, and I’m proud to help introduce it today.”
In 2021, the U.S. imported more than half-a-billion dollars’ worth of wood products from Russia ($459 million) and Belarus ($52 million). Specifically, the No Timber From Tyrants Act would:
- Ban imports of Russian and Belarusian wood products while Russia continues its violent and senseless war against Ukraine; and
- Improve the health of our nation’s forests and create new jobs by directing the U.S. Forest Service and Department of the Interior to harvest more timber from overgrown, fire-prone federal lands to make up for the lost imports.
“America should be pushing back on Putin’s war of aggression from every possible angle, and there’s no better way to do that than by cutting Russia’s economy off at the knees,” said Westerman. “We imported hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of wood products from Russia last year alone, giving Russia the power to channel those funds directly into Putin’s war. No more. By immediately banning the import of all Russian timber, we can not only deal a harsh blow to tyranny, but we can also simultaneously boost American industries. Enough rhetoric – it’s time to show Putin we mean business and stop economically propping up his senseless violence. I’m proud to see so many of my colleagues joining me in this effort, and hope to see this bill passed quickly.”
This legislation builds on Rodgers and Westerman’s efforts to expand American energy dominance and deplete Putin’s war chest. Last month, the pair of lawmakers led the American Energy Independence from Russia Act, which would:
- Immediately approve the Keystone XL pipeline,
- Unleash U.S. LNG exports to boost natural gas production,
- Restart oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters, and
- Protect energy and mineral development from attacks by the Biden administration.
Rodgers and Westerman were joined in introducing the No Timber From Tyrants Act by more than 40 of their House colleagues.
CLICK HERE for a one pager on the bill.
CLICK HERE to read the bill.