IAM calls for complete ban on all Russian wood imports

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (I AM), one of the largest labor unions in North America, called for a total ban on all imports of Russian and Belarusian hardwoods and softwoods. 

In a letter to the Biden administration, I AM said that its 600,000-member union stands in support of rejecting Russia’s violent military aggression towards Ukraine. 

“Our union believes your administration’s ongoing series of sanctions against Russia and Belarus should also include banning all its wood products, which are often used for items such as furniture manufacturing. Halting imports of Russian and Belarusian wood, because it is conflict timber and import is therefore illegal, would also cut off the financial gains used for furthering this unprovoked invasion of Ukraine,” I AM said. 

The union said that the proposal to ban all Russian wood imports could help create new woodworking jobs in the United States. 

I AM’s appeal to the US government to ban all Russian and Belarusian imports is the latest in a growing clamour for countries and other stakeholders to halt trade with Russia and Belarus as a form of solidarity with the Ukrainian people. 

Last March, it was reported that the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) announced that all timber coming from Russia and Belarus are “conflict timber.” This was followed by the Assurance Services International (ASI) which halted its FSC oversight activities in Belarus, and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which suspended all trading certificates in Russia and Belarus and blocked all controlled wood sourcing from the two countries as a response to Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine.