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AF&PA Board Urges Action To Help Struggling U.S. Manufacturing Sector

Press release from the issuing company

February 05, 2004 WASHINGTON, DC -- The following statement was issued today by W. Henson Moore, President and CEO of the American Forest & Paper Association, on the resolution passed by AF&PA’s Board of Directors today calling for government action to address the ongoing crisis in the manufacturing sector. “Today, AF&PA’s Board of Directors approved a resolution laying out the actions the forest products industry believes are necessary to get the U.S. manufacturing sector back on track. The cost of manufacturing in the United States has risen steadily in recent years due to increased energy costs, health care costs, litigation and government regulation. Exacerbating the situation, the U.S. still has higher business tax rates than most of its competitor countries. Quite simply, these factors make it next to impossible for many U.S. companies to effectively compete in today’s world market, and make it possible for foreign competitors to come into the United States and beat us at home. In order to level the playing field and allow our companies to compete internationally, the AF&PA Board is calling for a reduction on the U.S. tax rate on manufacturers, modernization of environmental regulatory policies, increased supplies of natural gas, legal reform and the elimination of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers to U.S. products. The forest products industry alone has lost approximately 128,000 jobs and closed more than 220 wood and paper mills since 1997. These huge job losses and mill closures devastate communities and impose tremendous financial hardships on state coffers. If the overall U.S. economic rebound is going to continue, the manufacturing sector must dramatically improve.” A copy of the full resolution is attached, or can be found in the Newsroom at http://www.afandpa.org.