November-December 2015

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Page 38 of 47 PalletCentral • November-December 2015 39 Capitol Hill Corner Capitol Hill … in Memphis, Tennessee P rofessionals in Washington, DC often note that you sometimes have to leave DC to meet with people from DC. This was the case for NWPCA as we headed to Memphis, Tennessee for the 39th annual North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) meeting held from October 26-29. One of the goals for NWPCA was to touch base with Deputy Administrator, Osama El-Lissy of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA APHIS-PPQ) and his staff as part of the NWPCA strategic plan to reach out to government entities. We were able to have lunch with El-Lissy and his staff while there, and he noted we should meet more often to further the relationship between USDA and NWPCA. The NAPPO annual meeting provides a unique opportunity for industry to interact with plant protection and quarantine officials from the United States, Mexico and Canada. There are industry/commodity specific meetings, including issues on forestry and plant pest protection, and educational topics such as "International Regulatory Framework for Plant-Health." It's one of the few international plant pest meetings where industry can interact with government officials and a welcome opportunity to build strategic partnerships with governments and other like-minded industries. Hardwood Checkoff — What's Next? On October 28, 2015, the US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, officially announced the termination of the Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research and Information Order, also known as the "Hardwood Checkoff." The original checkoff proposal was published in the Federal Register back in November 13, 2013. After two years, and hundreds of comments, meetings and discussion, the final decision was to not move forward with the proposal. Some may be wondering what the next steps are, or what happens next, but it simply just ends. It was an idea that was proposed, floated, and vetted. At the end-of-the-day, regardless of what side of the issue you stood, know that there is a good system in place to discuss these ideas. PC Congressman Greg Walden (2nd Congressional District-Oregon), Chair of the Republican National Congressional Committee with Patrick Atagi, VP-Advocacy & External Affairs. NWPCA Advocacy Webpage Gets Facelift NWPCA recently updated its advocacy content page to enhance learning about important industry issues and make it easier to navigate. Advocating for your industry can be a daunting affair, especially if you are new to an issue or need an in-depth industry perspective. NWPCA staff is working to make sure you are informed and your voice is heard. Part of that is providing Issue Briefs and making background documents readily available to bring you up to speed on important issues. Access the new webpage from the "Advocacy" tab at Get Involved, Join the Government Affairs Committee The government affairs committee is responsible for developing and influencing a favorable regulatory, legislative and business environment within which the wooden pallet and container industry functions. To this end, the committee promotes the best interest of the industry through strategic alliances with customer end-user groups and other wood-reliant trade groups, government officials, supply chain participants and related research and educational facilities. Sign-up online from the "About" tab, or contact us for information at or phone 703-519-6104. INSIDE NWPCA

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