Sweeping Changes In Washington Likely To Be Felt By Forest Industry

While the November election answered one question—who will lead the U.S. for the next four years—it raised many more.  President-elect Trump and the Republican majority in Congress are now embarking on the complicated task of implementing new domestic and foreign policy agendas.  Many of the policy changes expected to be considered are likely to have a significant impact on forestry, particularly as it relates to taxes, the environment and trade.

A major overhaul of tax laws, which has long been a goal of Congressional Republicans, could result in the elimination of several tax provisions that are very favorable to forest landowners, including the treatment of most timber sales as capital gains and deductions related to operating and management costs. It could also result in the elimination of the estate tax, otherwise known as the “death tax,” which could benefit family forests.

Forestry is expected to fare well under Trump’s pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.  Scott Pruitt, the current Attorney General for Oklahoma, is expected to dismantle many of the onerous rules and regulations put in place during the Obama administration.  And the administration’s new foreign trade policies could have a mixed effect on U.S. wood markets.

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