From deficit to surplus: An econometric analysis of US trade balance in forest products
Although the US trade deficit has persisted since 1975, the country changed in 2009 from a net importer to a net exporter of forest products, emerging as the world's largest exporter of forest products. Drawing on recent data, we model the real dollar value of US exports, imports, and the trade balance in forest products to identify factors likely to explain this shift. We find that US dollar depreciation and the purchasing power of the rest of the world have positively affected US exports, while recessions and the implementation of the Lacey Act Amendment of 2008 have negatively affected US imports, the latter reducing the total value of imports by 24%. Furthermore, a temporary (2007-2010) contraction in the consumption of forest products domestically led to a shift in the trade balance.