Local Manufactures Worry About Changes To Lacey Act
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- With Congress preparing to scale back the requirements of the Lacey Act, some Tennesseans fear their jobs could be in jeopardy.
In 2008 the Lacey Act was amended to create more hurdles for the importation of illegally harvest goods and timber. The change in the law also led to a widely publicized raid of the Gibson Guitar company in Tennessee. Some of the exotic wood used to make the famous instruments it illegal to own under the Lacey Act.
Lawmakers are hoping to relax some of those 2008 added requirements, easing regulations on importing wood.
While those changes seem simple, for Mike Millard and his wife Donna it's a change that could cost jobs at McMinnville Manufacturing - a hundred year old, hardwood floor manufacturing plant.
"It would hurt logging, it would hurt lumber," said Donna Millard.
"It's tough enough and you throw something else at us where you are at a disadvantage because of cheap products that have been harvested illegally, and then it could cost jobs.," explained Mike Millard.
Mike believes easing restrictions would mean more wood from other countries could flood the American market wood that may have been harvested illegally, and produced by other countries that don't have to follow stringent logging and forestry practices.
"We just want to make sure the playing field is level," he said.
The husband and wife worry about the ripple effect the law could have since some 250 people are tied to the lumber industry in McMinnville alone.