PIA Reacts to President Obama's First Address to Congress

Michael Makin, president and CEO of Printing Industries of America, responded to President Obama's Address to the Joint Session of Congress in late February:

The Printing Industries of America welcomes President Obama's effort to inject confidence and hope into the American economy during this time of recession. The President's optimism about our ability to confront the challenges facing the country is a great encouragement to the printing and graphic communications industry, and his faith in the spirit of entrepreneurship is one we share.

We welcome news that the President intends to create a new lending plan to restore confidence and unfreeze credit. During this downturn, printing companies of all sizes need access to credit, and we eagerly await details as to how firms will gain access to these new loans as almost one out of every four printers report reduced access to credit.

As health insurance premiums continue their steep increase, we support the President's call for health care reform that seeks to provide affordable, accessible insurance coverage to all Americans.

The printing and graphic communications industry provides health benefits to nearly one million workers and their families. Therefore, we encourage the President to develop policy that ensures employer-provided health plans which give employees greater choice in benefits while also allowing employers flexibility in providing such coverage.

I am pleased that President Obama will include the business community in his stakeholders' health care summit next week and encourage both the President and the Congress to continue soliciting input as legislation is constructed.

The printing and graphic communications industry is committed to sound environmental stewardship and increasing energy efficiency in its facilities. While we welcome the President's desire to address environmental and energy issues, we are concerned about the possible impact of carbon cap and trade legislation.

There is anxiety that such legislation would increase energy costs-something that the manufacturing sector can ill afford at this time. We trust that the President will seek a solution that allows for the mutually beneficial continued growth in the manufacturing sector and a healthier environment.

We look forward to working with the President and the Congress to achieve these goals and to ensure that our overall financial recovery allows the printing and graphic communications industry to continue doing its part to power the American economy.

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