By Houston Smith
Member of the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA) took to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017. Armed with a schedule packed with meetings with congressional and committee offices, the Association contacted nearly 9% of the United States Congress in one day.
The NWPCA along with Lobbyit, a professional lobbying firm, helped guide members through the maze of the House and Senate Buildings, plugging members into offices that represented their home state or even home district. The primary issues covered in the meetings included the Cary Institute report and the defense of ISPM 15. Out of these issues, members were briefed on the facts and how best to address their representatives: ISPM 15 works, and the Cary Institute needs further evidence to back up its claims, Labor, immigration, and health care also became important talking points, and ones that congressional staff were especially receptive to.
Kathleen Dietrich, a member of both the NWPCA and the Western Pallet Association (WPA), spoke directly to the staff of her Senator, Kamala Harris (D-CA), about the effect that these issues had on her business. Other WPA members in attendance included Jim Schwab, Pallet Logistics of America; Mike Hachtman, reLogistics Services; LeRoi Cochran CHEP; Howe Wallace, PalletOne; and Scott Vipond, Girard Wood Products.
In addition to the House and the Senate, members met with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to discuss pest management, and the Department of Labor to discuss the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and its relationship with the pallet industry.
Throughout the discussions between the Association and its representatives, it became clear just howimportant it is for members of government to meet face-to-face with the people who make up the industry. By reaching out and visiting the capitol, members also encouraged their congressmen to return the favor, and tour their wood pallet and recycling facilities themselves.