U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Friday directed Customs and Border Protection to block future timber imports from Peruvian exporter Inversiones WCA E.I.R.L. (WCA) after illegally harvested timber was found in the company’s supply chain, according to a press release by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
The action stems from a February U.S. request under the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) for Peru to verify that three specific timber shipments from Peru to the U.S. complied with applicable Peruvian laws and regulations.
Peru conducted a verification process that revealed one shipment from the company wasn’t harvested and traded in compliance with the country’s laws, regulations and other measures, but the country did not take enforcement action against the firm.
The PTPA requires Peru to perform verifications of particular shipments of wood products from Peru.
CBP has been directed to deny entry to products and exports of WCA for three years or until the U.S. determines the company has complied with all applicable laws, regulations and other measures of Peru governing the harvest of and trade in timber products, whichever is shorter, USTR said.
The U.S. and Peru continue to engage in a cooperative and meaningful way to combat illegal logging and work toward improving forest sector governance, USTR said.
“USTR and the Timber Committee will continue to monitor closely Peru’s implementation of the commitments in the [PTPA] Environment Chapter,” the press release says.