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WASHINGTON – American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement in strong support of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). AF&PA and member company leaders will meet with administration and Congressional offices on March 20 to advocate for free and fair trade policies that recognize the strong global position of the paper and wood products industry.
“NAFTA countries account for $9.6 billion or 45% of our industry’s pulp and paper exports, making them a vital industry market. As negotiators work to modernize NAFTA with Canada and Mexico, we support constructive changes that will ensure these markets remain open to our country’s exports and recognize the benefits of an interconnected supply chain. Maintaining open access for U.S. exports and a level playing field for U.S. companies, retaining the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism, implementing transparent and sound science-based regulatory practices and combatting illegal logging and associated trade remain our top priorities.
“The U.S. paper and wood products industry and its employees bring a long history of sustainable, innovative manufacturing practices to the table, not to mention a work ethic that is second to none. That’s a winning combination at play in communities across the nation and one that deserves every opportunity to grow and contribute to American manufacturing growth. Remaining in NAFTA and improving the agreement’s provisions will help strengthen this foundation and is a case we look forward to making to the administration and members of Congress.”
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 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 45 states. Visit AF&PA online at www.afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper