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In 1989, Oregonians voted to ban export of old-growth logs from state-owned forests. The ballot measure, which is illegal by U.S. law because it restricts exports, also called on Congress to permanently ban the export of logs grown on federal lands. A recent International Trade Administration report sheds light on the controversy by explaining why the Japanese are buying U.S. forest products. Here are some of its conclusions. New markets for wood. The U.S. government trade policy promotes exports to Japan because they increase revenue from federal lands. This helps the balance of trade. Currently, the yen-to-dollar exchange rate favors the Japanese currency, and the Japanese have been importing a large percentage of their timber. Over 69% of the Japanese wood supply comes from imports – up