Pennsylvania backs Forest Products Fairness Act, state Rep. says addressing 'wrongful exclusion' of wood products from federal BioPreferred Program is good for state's economy

Wendy Lisney

Wendy Lisney

May 17, 2013 – Office of Rep. Will Tallman

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania , May 16, 2013 (press release) – A resolution sponsored by state Rep. Will Tallman (R-Adams/York), that urges congressional support of federal legislation that promotes Pennsylvania forest products, on Wednesday was approved by the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. House Resolution 223 now heads to the full House for consideration.

Tallman’s resolution encourages Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation to support U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson’s (R-PA) efforts to pass the Forest Products Fairness Act of 2013 (HR 979), which Thompson is co-sponsoring. The legislation would open new market opportunities for American forestry producers by allowing forest products to qualify for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Biobased Markets Program, also known as the BioPreferred Program.

The program was created in 2002 as a part of the Farm Bill and was intended to encourage the use of biobased products throughout the federal government.

“There is no specific language in the Farm Bill to exclude forest products, but the USDA has interpreted the law that way,” said Tallman. “Many of us have paper and cardboard companies in our legislative districts. These companies believe they will be at a competitive disadvantage if they cannot use the USDA labels. Congressman Thompson’s legislation addresses the wrongful exclusion of wood products from the federal program and is good for Pennsylvania’s economy.”

More than 90 organizations and industry-related companies have endorsed the Forest Products Fairness Act of 2013. The bill has more than 45 bipartisan co-sponsors.

Questions about this or any other legislative issue should be directed to Tallman’s district office at (717) 259-7805 or 1-877-480-9525.

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