WASHINGTON – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Heidi Brock released the following statement, calling on California Governor Gavin Newsom to veto the California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act (AB 416).
“The California Deforestation-Free Procurement Act ignores the fact that sustainable, working forests provide numerous benefits to the environment and local communities.
“A healthy forest products industry goes hand-in-hand with healthy forests. In the U.S., the vast majority of wood used to produce paper and wood products is sourced from family-owned, sustainably managed forests.
“We urge Governor Newsom to veto AB 416. California has been a leader in sustainability. However, this bill could have unintended consequences for products with recycled content because producers would be required to prove the content did not come from a tropical deforestation region. Recycled content is not exempt from the bill’s reporting requirements, and it is practically impossible for manufacturers to determine the origin of recovered fiber.
“Third-party certification programs already exist and are utilized to meet forest management standards. Furthermore, this legislation is counterproductive to California’s own commitments to boost housing supply, address the state’s housing crisis, as well as related supply chain issues – with Governor Newsom signing the California Comeback Plan into law just days ago.”
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance U.S. paper and wood products manufacturers through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. The forest products industry is circular by nature. AF&PA member companies make essential products from renewable and recycle resources, generate renewable bioenergy and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative—Better Practices, Better Planet 2030: Sustainable Products for a Sustainable Future. The forest products industry accounts for approximately four percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures nearly $300 billion in products annually and employs approximately 950,000 people. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $60 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states. Visit AF&PA online at afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.