AF&PA lauds U.S. officials for delaying European
Union’s harmful regulation
Washington, DC— The American
Forest & Paper Association congratulated the offices of the
US Trade Representative, and the Secretaries of Agriculture and
Commerce, and Members of Congress for their efforts to lobby the
European Commission to delay implementation of a regulation that
would have adversely impacted $80 billion in U.S. exports. The
regulation, EU Directive 2004/102/EC, ran counter to an agreement
already hammered out by 121 countries, including the U.S. and
the European Union.
“We are quite pleased with
the exemplary efforts of our government in preventing the European
Union from undermining the International Plant Protection Convention,”
said AF&PA president and CEO W. Henson Moore. “The IPPC
was designed to reduce health risks associated with pest infestation
from wood packaging materials and it was agreed to by 121 countries—including
the EU. For them to then add an additional costly, burdensome,
and unnecessary regulation would undermine the Convention process.
Additionally it would have hurt our nation’s exporters by
blocking access to European markets, costing us jobs and needlessly
increasing the costs of doing business with Europe.”
The European Union’s farm
ministers agreed to postpone the rule until March 1, 2006, but
have still indicated they will seek its ultimate implementation.
AF&PA worked with the Hardwood
Federation to ensure this issue remained a priority for the U.S.
government, and both organizations will continue to work with
the Bush Administration and Congress to monitor this situation
in the future.