The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), a fact-based policy advocacy organization representing the U.S. paper and wood products manufacturing sector, has announced its top 2016 advocacy priorities. Working with member companies and allied industries, the association hopes to stem the tide of regulatory overreach by working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Congress and other stakeholders.
"Paper and wood products manufacturers operate in a highly competitive global marketplace. On behalf of the more than 900,000 men and women who make our products, it is important that public policies do not impede business investment and job creation," said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman.
AF&PA's top 2016 advocacy priorities:
Advance reforms that account for the cumulative regulatory burden facing manufacturers and ensure regulations are based on best available scientific and technical information through a transparent and accountable rulemaking process.
Support recognition of biomass energy as carbon neutral and minimize costs in the implementation of the Clean Power Plan.
Defend against overreach on air and water regulations affecting the industry, including human health water quality criteria and encourage adoption of permitting modernization for National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
Maintain access to paper-based communication options for government services and information in order to serve the millions of Americans who either choose to forego or lack access to digital communication.
Promote our industry's sustainability record and inform state and federal regulators of the industry's progress toward improved energy efficiency, paper recovery for recycling, sustainable forestry and safety incident rates and decreased greenhouse gas emissions and water use.
Advocate for open market access for industry exports, which account for 15 percent of all shipments, through international trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and against unfair international trade practices that affect paper and wood products markets.
Urge congressional action to comprehensively reform the tax code to improve U.S. manufacturers' competitiveness.
"The exponential growth in U.S. regulations is harming many segments our economy, including paper and wood products manufacturing. We will work in 2016 and beyond for federal and state policies that unleash the potential for American economic leadership," said Harman. "We plan to respond vigorously to potential midnight regulations as we enter this administration's final year and work proactively for positive change."
For more information about AF&PA and all of the issues it will address in 2016, visit www.afandpa.org/issues.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry's sustainability initiative - Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures over $200 billion in products annually, and employs approximately 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states. Visit AF&PA online at www.afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.