American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement expressing the paper and wood products manufacturing industry’s support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and urging Congress to action.
“In keeping with our long-standing support for free and fair trade, AF&PA supports the TPP and urges Congress and the administration to resolve any remaining issues so that the agreement can be approved this year. Paper and wood products exports account for about 15 percent of the industry’s annual total sales, with global exports of $30.3 billion in 2015.
“The TPP agreement opens new markets for U.S. forest products and breaks new ground in lowering non-tariff barriers and other regulatory impediments to trade. The elimination of most tariffs on goods traded in the TPP region and the reduction of non-tariff barriers is expected to increase economic activity across the region and boost demand for paper and wood products, especially packaging materials. It is important that Congress and the administration continue their dialogue and eliminate any remaining issues so that benefits can be shared by the entire supply chain.
“The illegal logging provisions in the TPP Environment chapter are an important tool in the fight for reducing global illegal logging and associated trade since several TPP countries are illegal logging hot spots. The U.S. forest products industry is a leader in the fight against illegal logging. Our industry is a strong advocate for the 2008 Lacey Act amendments that make it illegal to harvest or trade in illegally obtained wood and wood products because of the economic and reputational cost to our industry. The TPP agreement elevates and commits our trading partners to principles that are consistent with those in the U.S. by ensuring measures are taken to prevent illegal logging and associated trade.”