"Our members are on the front lines of addressing the issues necessary to compete in a global marketplace and work with AF&PA to ensure that policymakers and regulators understand their concerns," said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. "While we represent the paper and wood products industry on an array of issues, our leadership is focused on prioritizing our resources to maximize our policy achievements in 2013."
AF&PA's 2013 key policy initiatives include:
- Working with members and other sustainability thought leaders to achieve industry goals to increase paper recovery for recycling, increase energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gases, promote sustainable forestry, improve workplace safety, and reduce water use.
- Working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lawmakers, and other stakeholders to support development of practical and sustainable air regulations.
- Working with EPA and others to allow renewable biomass residuals to be recognized as a carbon-neutral fuel source in greenhouse gas regulations.
- Promoting access to paper-based communication options for government programs such as Social Security, the Internal Revenue Service, savings bonds, and educational resources to ensure that the 30 percent of Americans without Internet access can still access these vital public programs.
- Advocating for inclusion of industry products in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's BioPreferred program. Paper and wood products are among the most biobased products available to consumers and should be part of government procurement and voluntary labeling initiatives.
- Urging Congress to return fiscal viability to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) through comprehensive postal reform that supports long-term cost reductions, allows new revenue sources, and relieves USPS of unfair financial obligations while satisfying the nation's service needs.
- Supporting policies that promote voluntary and market-based paper recycling programs.
- Ensuring that tax changes improve the U.S. economy, U.S. job opportunities, and the competitiveness of U.S.-based businesses without resulting in tax increases that would harm economic growth and job creation.
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 4.5 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures approximately $190 billion in products annually, and employs nearly 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.