AF&PA 2019 Advocacy Day: Partnering for the Paper and Wood Products Industry's Future
By Donna Harman, President and CEO, AF&PA
June 13, 2019 - There's no “I” in “Team.” Through the years, this phrase has guided American Forest & Paper Association's (AF&PA) mission to advance forward-thinking public policy that supports the paper and wood products industry's ability to grow the economy and create American manufacturing jobs. In our book, that success results from partnership, and nothing puts this dynamic front and center more than our Washington, D.C. Advocacy Day.
On June 19, we will join paper and paper-based packaging manufacturing CEOs and senior executives for discussions with key Senate and House members on Capitol Hill and top administration policymakers. We will deliver the message that clear and concise policies are essential for our companies to invest, innovate and compete at home and around the globe.
Across Washington, D.C. we'll be talking about the need for free and fair trade, including the United States–Mexico–Canada agreement (USMCA), regulatory reforms, a market-based/resilient recycling system and transportation and infrastructure efficiencies. We'll make the case for trade policies must recognize our strong global position and provide the support our manufacturer need to compete at home and around the world. Congress should pass USMCA now! And, we'll underscore the need to safely increase truck weight limits on federal highways and implement freight rail system rate and service improvements.
Nothing beats sharing a compelling story face-to-face to reinforce the value of our industry and its contributions to society. We did so earlier this year in Oregon on March 26 at the state capitol in Salem, joining with a number of organizations to shine a spotlight on the forest and forest products sector's value to the Oregon economy. Later, on May 1, we joined with the Illinois Manufacturers' Association to put the paper and wood products industry in that state front and center during Illinois Business Day at the state capital in Springfield. And last week, our members were in California meeting with policy makers about the industry's record 68.1 percent paper recovery rate for recycling.
Our industry's compelling story would not be possible without the dedicated men and women who make our products. They are the heart and soul of our companies. At AF&PA advocacy days in our state and federal capitals, make no mistake about it, our members underscore the need for public policies to enhance our employees' ability to manufacture the products that make everyday life better for all of society.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue 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 four percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures approximately $300 billion in products annually, and employs nearly 950,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $55 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states. Visit AF&PA online at www.afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.