Mr. THOMPSON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, the USDA Biobased Markets program was created to provide new markets for farm commodities and to encourage consumers to purchase environmentally friendly biobased products. Unfortunately, under the current law, most forest products are excluded from both the Federal procurement preference and the market label of the USDA Biobased Markets program. For instance, bamboo plywood is already eligible for the BioPreferred label and is used as a ``green'' alternative for hardwood flooring or lumber.
The Forest Products Fairness Act of 2012 modifies the definition of ``biobased product'' to clarify that forest products should be included in the Biobased Markets program if they meet the minimum biobased content requirements. The Forest Products Fairness Act of 2012 will enable U.S. producers to build back a competitive advantage through stronger, expanded product markets and new economic opportunities so that the industry can better compete in the global marketplace.
Including U.S.-made forest products as part of the USDA's BioPreferred program is a win-win for consumers and producers. It will promote healthy, well-managed forests and the protection of communities that rely on these jobs and industries to survive.