AF&PA Comments on Obama's State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON | American Forest & Paper Assn. president and CEO Donna Harman today issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s recent State of the Union address:

“We are hopeful that President Obama’s remarks committing his administration to bring greater focus to strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. businesses, including those in the forest products industry, will improve our ability to sustain and create more jobs and increase exports,” continued Harman.  

“One way to strengthen our competitiveness is to adopt a regulatory posture that balances our shared desire to protect the health and well-being of Americans with the flexibility to keep the companies that employ them viable.  The President’s recent executive order committing to ensure regulations don’t smother job creation, combined with recent indications from the EPA that rules like Boiler MACT, can be written in a way that protect jobs and the environment are positive indicators of this new approach.

“The US forest products industry’s record on sustainability shows that the private sector can and does balance economic, environmental and social needs, not because the government mandates it, but because it is important to the long-term success of our companies and the families and communities they support.  The US forest products industry employs nearly 900,000 Americans and injects $50 billion in payroll into thousands of communities across our country, but has been among the hardest hit sectors of our economy during the recession.  

“From doubling paper recovery for recycling over the last 20 years to leading all other manufacturing in the use of renewable fuels, setting and reaching higher standards is helping us protect good jobs for our employees and make important economic contributions to our communities and our country.

“Our industry remains ready and eager to work with both Congress and the Obama Administration to shape policies and regulations that will promote both job creation and sustained environmental performance for American businesses.”

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