U.S. Senate sets Medford-based hearing on plywood

A U.S. Senate hearing will be held in Medford today to investigate unfair and potentially illegal Chinese hardwood plywood trade practices.

The session, which begins at noon in the Medford City Council Chambers at 411 W. Eight St., will look at the adverse impact the practices have on the domestic hardwood plywood industry and federal timber receipts.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., will chair the session.

Nearly 2,000 Oregonians work in the hardwood plywood industry, including about 800 in Jackson, Josephine and Klamath counties.

Testifying at the hearing will be Joe Gonyea III of Timber Products Co., which employs almost 400 workers in Grants Pass and Medford; Phil Guay of Columbia Forest Products, which employs almost 400 workers in Klamath Falls; and Tom Chamberlain of the Oregon AFL-CIO. Government officials will also testify.

Wyden is working with the industry and the administration to investigate alleged practices ranging from Chinese subsidies of its timber industry to fraudulent labeling of Chinese hardwood plywood, according to a Wyden spokesman.

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