When I read the first time the news my comment was: «It’s incredible! I do not believe that they will!»
But the reality goes beyond fantasy…
The US Paper Check-off Program is a paper promotional campaign authorised by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), to improve public perceptions regarding printing and writing papers, kraft, containerboard and paperboard packaging.
A number of similar programs have been carried out for others product as pork, beef, milk, etc etc.
The program will be financed by companies producing or importing above 100.000 tons per year. Those companies will contribute with 35 cents per ton produced. The agreement of 50% of those companies is needed for the program to go ahead.
Although in principle this campaign can benefit the whole global industry, in practice a «tax» is imposed on your company.
The involvement of the US government is necessary because the program becomes mandatory for a five year renewable period.
The USDA will also help to collect the fees and will check the content of the campaign.
The campaign will be managed by a Board of 12 industry members: one seat is attributed to an importer, representing all the importers, and the total amount to be collected for it is $ 25 million per year.
A referendum started at end of October until November 5 for companies to vote on whether they want or not the program to go ahead.
Basically this initiative is a new tax, to add to the high value of the Euro vs Dollar. Another burden for the companies which are exporting in US.
We have to copy the same action in Europe. Or we have to ask to retire this initiative…
«Tertium non datur!».