The industry is dominated by North American (United States and Canada), northern European (Finland, Sweden, and North-West Russia) and East Asian countries (such as East Siberian Russia, China, Japan, and South Korea). Australasia and Brazil also have significant pulp and paper enterprises. The United States had been the world's leading producer of paper until it was overtaken by China in 2009.
The industry is criticized by environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council for unsustainable deforestation and clear cutting of old-growth forest.The industry trend is to expand globally to countries like Russia, China and Indonesia with low wages and low environmental oversight. According to Greenpeace, farmers in Central America illegally rip up vast tracts of native forest for cattle and soybean production without any consequence and companies who buy timber from private land owners contribute to massive deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest.