Author: Mark Nuzzaco, Vice President, Government Affairs, Association for Print Technologies
July 11, 2018
The printing and packaging industry spoke with a strong and unified voice on Capitol Hill when nearly one hundred executives joined together in Washington, D.C. for the 2018 Print & Packaging Legislative Summit, June 19-20. The largest-ever gathering of its kind, the Summit was hosted by six printing and packaging associations, and displayed a unity and collaboration designed to impress lawmakers with the breadth and strength of the industry, which is found in every community across the nation, touches the lives of all Americans. Though often typified by thousands of small businesses, the industry employs million workers and is a significant part of the U.S. economy.
Summit participants visited 70 congressional offices, including over a third of the United States Senate, during the day and a half event. Industry advocates delivered messages focused on the specific needs of the printing and packaging industry on topics ranging from opposition to the imposition of debilitating tariffs on aluminum and Canadian uncoated groundwood paper, to support for the reauthorization of the Perkins Workforce Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act, designed to help bring together students seeking careers in manufacturing, technology and the trades and employers in need of qualified employees in these fields.
Other subjects pressed for by Summit participants included financial modernization of the U.S. Postal Service, support for Trade Promotion Authority and the Export-Import Bank, Tax Reform 2.0, including making full Expensing of capital investment permanent, preserving the right to receive paper-based information from government institutions like the Securities and Exchange Commission and others, as well as legislation that would modernize health savings accounts (HSAs) and facilitate association health plans (AHPs). Summit participants were prepared to advocate on these subjects by Washington issues experts in a special briefing session sponsored by TLMI.
On a more social note, Summit participants enjoyed a congressional reception (sponsored by RICOH) and a breakfast in the historic Russell Senate Office Building Caucus Room (sponsored by NAPIM). During each event Friend of Print & Packaging Awards were presented to U.S. Senators and Representatives who had demonstrated exemplary leadership in advancing legislation of critical importance to the industry. During the reception Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-8) was recognized for co-sponsoring the Perkins Act reauthorization in the House, and Gerry Connolly (VA-11) for co-sponsoring postal reform legislation. During the Senate breakfast, Senators Boozman (AR), Carper (DE), Heitkamp (ND) and King (ME) were recognized and spoke on the need for postal reform and the important role paper still plays in society, even in the era of digital communications.
Nationally recognized political pundit Charlie Cook, Editor-in-Chief of the Cook Political Report, critiqued the upcoming 2018 mid-term elections following the Summit Industry Leadership Dinner sponsored by Packsize. After making their “pitch” on Capitol Hill, Summit advocates adjourned to Nationals Park to watch the home team take on their beltway rivals the Baltimore Orioles.
Summit Host Associations included: AICC The Independent Packaging Association, Association for Print Technologies, Fibre Box Association, Idealliance, Printing Industries of America, and Specialty Graphic Imaging Association. Other Summit sponsors included: Book Manufacturing Institute, Catalyst, Domtar, Falco Sult, Greeting Card Association, Hallmark Cards, Poteet Printing Systems, Pharmaceutical Printed Literature Association, Quad Graphics, Resolute and Twin Rivers Paper Company.
Summit participants are now encouraged to engage their Senators and Representatives back home in their states and congressional districts by hosting plant tours and inviting industry peers to do the same.
The business community cannot sit back on its laurels, especially now that we have made progress under this Administration and Congress. Our annual Summit is a chance for our members to become “activists” on behalf of their businesses and their industries.
—Steve Young, President, AICC, The Independent Packaging Association
The 2018 Legislative Summit showed the effectiveness of a shared purpose and collaboration, which successfully amplified the Printing & Packaging Industry’s advocacy in Washington, DC at a time when it is critical that legislators and other policy makers hear our message loud and clear. All who participated deserve our thanks.
—Thayer Long, President, Association for Print Technologies (APTechSM)
The Paper and Packaging Legislative Summit allowed me to personally reflect on the topics affecting our industry and to formulate key messages for our Representatives and Senators on Capitol Hill. We cannot become complacent with the successes of a pro-manufacturing administration. Thanks to all the participants who took time to tell their story and be heard, a right that we have as Americans.
—Dennis J. Colley, President/CEO, Fibre Box Association (FBA)
The 2018 Print & Packaging Legislative Summit was a fantastic collaborative event bringing together companies from throughout the industry supply chain to speak with one voice on Capitol Hill. This signature event is a key component of achieving success in the industry’s advocacy campaigns.
—Michael Makin, President/CEO, Printing Industries of America (PIA)
It was gratifying to see such a wide range of printing disciplines represented at the Legislative Summit. The large turnout, and our ability to meet with so many legislators on a broad range of topics vital to our industry, is a reflection of the importance print has within the US economy. This was no doubt an effective presence that will bolster our advocacy throughout the year.
—Ford Bower, President/CEO, Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA)