March 18, 2020
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AF&PA Stresses Paper and Wood Products Industry’s “Essential” Role in Responding to COVID-19 Challenges
WASHINGTON – American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Heidi Brock issued the following statement encouraging federal, state and local governments to recognize paper and wood products manufacturing facilities as “essential” when drafting Shelter in Place orders:
“The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) recognizes the daunting challenges our elected officials, health administrators and others are facing in making decisions aimed at protecting communities across the country. This is particularly true when our leaders find it necessary to enforce ‘Shelter in Place’ or similar quarantine orders.
“AF&PA members make essential products, including tissue products, packaging for food and other consumer products, building products and shipping containers. Our members also supply packaging to agricultural producers, food processors, hygiene product manufacturers, grocers and other retailers. Disruptions in the availability of these goods would cause significant hardships to consumers across the country who depend on steady and stable supplies.
“To provide greater certainty and clarity for our industry’s businesses and employees, we ask for clear exclusion of our manufacturing operations from ‘Shelter in Place’ orders as the paper and wood products industry plays an essential role in avoiding unnecessary disruptions of goods and services.”
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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 nearly $300 billion in products annually and employs approximately 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 afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.