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Photo: Rnesto Benavides/AFP/Getty Images

Lumber mills in the U.S. have been a casualty of President Trump's trade war with China, as a significant dip in demand has pushed hardwood lumber prices down, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Chinese buyers were critical for lumber after the 2008 financial crisis, as American construction and furniture production dropped. Now, Beijing's retaliatory tariffs on as much as 25% of lumber and wood imports are draining the U.S. industry.

By the numbers: The percentage of American hardwood exports to China dropped from a peak 54.19% in 2017 to 49.5% in 2018, according to the Department of Agriculture.

  • By this year, that number dropped to 41.34%.
  • As of August, lumber prices fell 20% from the previous year.
  • Other countries are reaping the benefits of the American market's downfall. Russia and Gabon now make up 17% of imports by value, up from 12% through July of 2018.

The Trump administration and Congress have met with industry leaders who are pushing for comparable assistance to what American farmers have received since the trade war began.

  • But the Department of Commerce indicated it has no procedure for distributing such aid, according to the WSJ.
  • “There is no question that these tariffs have virtually destroyed a segment of our industry,” said Steven Anthony, president of Anthony Timberlands.

What's next: The Journal said some companies are pushing U.S. buyers to purchase more hardwood products to make up for the losses.

  • Jim Hourdequin, CEO of Lyme Timber Co., presented an idea: A marketing push similar to the "Got Milk?" ads that the dairy industry famously produced in the 1990s.

Go deeper: The market wants a U.S.-China trade deal

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. It's triggered widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

U.S. threatens to cut aid to Sudan after military takeover

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

The latest: The head of the military faction of the Sudanese government, Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan, said in a statement that he is announcing a state of emergency, suspending several parts of the interim constitution and dissolving the civilian government and interim sovereignty council — the highest governing body in the country.

Facebook's pivotal week

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

They're battening down the hatches at Facebook headquarters this week as the company faces a trifecta of tumult: a continuing wave of negative press coverage fueled by document leaks, a critical earnings report Monday and a reported name change looming.

The big picture: All this is unfolding as Mark Zuckerberg tries to transform Facebook from a social network into the prime mover behind a new "metaverse" of VR- and AR-driven remote work and play.