Developing Trade Relations in Wood Products
The role of the Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory (WMEL) in assisting with trade in wood products and equipment from the state of Washington has been established as follows: Two major projects are under way at WMEL. Some particularly bitter discussions have taken place about wood products. The US industry claims that government assistance, fair competition codes, toleration of anticompetitive practices, counterliberalization measures, government procurement policies, and unnecessary restrictive building and fire codes inhibit US exports of wood products to Japan. Japanese test procedures discriminate against proven wood products with results such as a lack of reasonable standards for Oriented Strand Board (OSB), nailbearing standards which discriminate against OSB, prescriptive Japanese standards, and failure to accept internationally-recognized performance standards such as Machine Stress-Rated Lumber. The most recent effort with Japan has been to nondestructively evaluate the structural properties of their plantation-grown timber.