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The 2018 Print & Packaging Legislative Summit: ‘The Year of the Manufacturer’

By Eric Elgin

April 2, 2018

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I am pleased to chair AICC’s Government Affairs Subcommittee for this 2018 membership year. In taking on this role, I am indebted to my predecessor, John Forrey of Specialty Industries, who led this committee for three years and served as the voice for the independent in matters governmental. Thank you, John.

From my perspective as the owner of Oklahoma Interpak, I see this subject of government affairs not just from a national perspective, but from a local one as well. Who among us owners of small companies has not had to deal with a county zoning board, the building code inspector, or even the local sewer authority when doing a plant expansion or installing equipment? We comply daily with safety regulations—good ones, I might add—to protect our workers, with environmental laws to protect the environment, and with labor laws in fairness to our employees. All these things are decreed by government—local, state, and federal—and we in the business community abide.

With this in mind, I want to use these pages in the coming year to help educate us all about the facing manufacturers in general, and those of us in the corrugated and paperboard industries in particular. I also want to encourage action on the part of AICC members when we see legislative proposals that can benefit, or those that can harm, our ability to provide jobs, grow our companies, and serve our customers most efficiently. We hear much of “activists” in the news lately, but to me so much of the activism demonstrated by these practitioners is inimical to our interests. This is why, in my view, it’s critical that we in the business community create our own kind of activism, an activism informed by facts, practiced with reason, and backed by integrity.

The manufacturing community has made great strides in the past year in advancing its legislative agenda. Some, like Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), have gone as far as to call it “the year of the manufacturer.” With a friendly administration and sympathetic Congress, the business community’s needs are being heard and heeded. But we’re not finished.

There is still much work to be done, and we still need our voice—local, state, and federal—to be heard. On the federal level, we have an opportunity to do this June 19–20, when AICC will again host and join forces with other print- and packaging-related groups in the 2018 Print & Packaging Legislative Summit. It’s your opportunity to visit with your legislators—to become an activist for your company and your industry. Plan on joining me and the members of AICC’s Government Affairs team when we gather in Washington in June.

In this “year of the manufacturer,” it is sure to be a memorable event.


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Eric Elgin is owner of Oklahoma Interpak and Chair of AICC’s Government Affairs Subcommittee. He can be reached at 918-687-1681 or eric@okinterpak.com.