May 2005

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.

 


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