Export-oriented illegal logging has been recognized as a major global problem in environmental, social, and economic terms. It has been argued that export-oriented illegal logging does not benefit the community or government that should be benefited by its own natural resources. The emergence of policy initiatives targeting illegal logging could have the potential to increase the competitiveness of legally sourced timber products by removing illegal products from the market of the consuming country.
The US Lacey Act amendments of 2008 set a precedent for the global trade in plants and plant products by putting in place incentives for US wood products importing companies to demand legally sourced and traded wood. This research addresses how the 2008 Lacey Act amendments have impacted the US wood industry, and how those affected by the amendments view the future of environmental policy and global illegal logging as impacted by the amendments.
The majority of respondents in this study agree that steps should be taken to decrease global illegal logging, but some aren't convinced that the Lacey Act amendments will ultimately have the desired effect. According to this research, most US wood importers have made small changes to their operational practices. This study indicates the possibility that though US wood importers feel the responsibility to ensure their companies are compliant with legislation, they are not sure the 2008 Lacey Act amendments will ultimately hinder global illegal logging. Included in this study are also suggestions from US wood importers regarding policy implementation. These suggestions include an increase in communication between the US government and US wood products companies, an increase in future research, and the possibility of focusing the Lacey Act on certain high-risk regions.