WASHINGTON – American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman today issued the following statement regarding the Senate’s passage of the 2013 Farm Bill.
“We commend Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member Thad Cochran for their leadership in providing an exhaustive review of the 2013 Farm Bill. We appreciate their recognition of the importance of the conservation programs for forestry and wood fiber supply for the nation’s manufacturers of pulp, paper, and wood products.
“We are also pleased to see the Forest Service directive to update the strategic plan for the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program, including integration of remote sensing and spatial analysis.
AF&PA especially appreciates the work of the Chairwoman and the Ranking Member to take steps to recognize forest products in USDA’s BioPreferred program. Paper, packaging, and wood products should be eligible to compete on a level playing field with other biobased products as was originally intended by the law. Earlier this year Sens. Blunt and Pryor along with 12 of their colleagues introduced the Forest Products Fairness Act (S. 463), which specifically calls for the inclusion of all forest products in the biobased programs and provides the most certainty for the forest products industry.
“We hope that as the Farm Bill process moves forward, Congress will take a close look at the energy title of the farm bill and work to prevent the potential unintended consequences of government incentives and mandates. AF&PA believes that the free market should determine the highest and best use of biomass.”
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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 $200 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. Visit AF&PA online at www.afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.