November-December 2020

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8 PalletCentral • November-December 2020 A Time to Reflect & Look Ahead T he holiday season is a time for thanks, reflection, and peace. While the past year has been somewhat chaotic, our NWPCA staff is proud to support our members with the products and services needed during these times. We are thankful for your membership and appreciative of our leadership for their time and guidance throughout the year. As we close the year, our virtual events were on the rise. At press time, we hosted webinars on softwood lumber markets, a post-election analysis, PDS training on fasteners, and a "virtual" race for the Pallet Foundation continues through November. Like many of you, the staff is excited to get back to some normalcy in 2021. Connecting in-person is critical, and we are eager to fill that void and bring members together. Our preparations for the Annual Leadership Conference, March 3-5 in Orlando, Florida, are underway. Staff, vendors, and the host hotel, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, are working to ensure the environment will be safe and healthy for all attendees. INSIDENWPCA NWPCA Advocacy Update T he NWPCA government affairs team has been busy since the beginning of the year, and October and November were no different. NWPCA's Vice President of Advocacy and External Affairs, Patrick Atagi, met again via Zoom with U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, a ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees tax policy for the country. It was the third meeting with Senator Wyden, and we maxed out our PalletPAC contribution to him for the year. On that note, the PalletPAC has received donations of over $30,000 this year to date. In these tumultuous political times, PalletPAC continues to be a valuable tool for your NWPCA lobbying team. The NWPCA Government Affairs Committee also held a pre-election call just one day before the Presidential election. Thanks to Grace Johnson, NWPCA Manager of Policy and Public Relations, for organizing the event. Presenting were Jason Ortega, Lobbyit Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, and Max Perkins, Senior Vice President of Lobbyit. The attendance was good with lively discussion. On Monday, November 16, the NWPCA held a post-election webinar with guest speaker Casey Wooten. Wooten, a tax policy expert at National Journal, gave insights into what the next two and four NWPCA Announcements and Upcoming Events years will look like for small businesses. He previously covered agriculture and tax issues for Bloomberg BNA and has served as an energy and banking reporter at Houston Business Journal. For 2021, legislative and regulatory activity continues for NWPCA. Next year, the USDA will present a "Report to Congress" that will comment on the wood packaging industry. The report will include data and make recommendations to Congress. The NWPCA advocacy team is watching this closely and working with APHIS as information develops. Plans to meet with Deputy Administrator Osama El-Lissy of the USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) are underway. NWPCA Board Meets Virtually T he Board of Directors held its latest virtual meeting in October. They accepted the recent financial audit and approved a 2021 budget that continues our long-term investments in PDS, advocacy, and strategic communications. They also reviewed the growth plan for NWPCA's government affairs program and its Political Action Committee. The Board of Directors provides oversight of NWPCA's programs and guidance for 2021. The active involvement of all of NWPCA's volunteers is critical to advancing our strategic goals, and we appreciate everyone who shares their time and skills with the association. NWPCA Lands Approval for Mark Obliteration Revision for Recyclers N WPCA is pleased to announce that on November 6, the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) officially adopted our proposal that would expand the allowance for wood packaging material with quality marks that were not obliterated. The new proposal changes the threshold for corrective action from the existing 'over 5%' allowance' to a new threshold of 'over 10 percent.' In practice, this means that there is greater tolerance for occasionally missing some marks during a company's mark obliteration quality control process. NWPCA submitted a mark obliteration revision proposal to ALSC in early 2020, based on recommendations from the NWPCA's Recycler Council. We appreciate the active participation of NWPCA volunteers and the support of ALSC's Enforcement Subcommittee members and ALSC staff to work collaboratively and seek solutions on the challenging issue of mark obliteration. The revised proposal provides relief for the industry and companies exercising good faith. The revision also encourages non-ISPM15 participating companies to become certified and maintain the strict integrity of the ISPM15 program. The change is effective immediately.

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