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A GRAB bag of information.

Since there are so many aspects involved in the promotion of such a broad-based industry, INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics industry, has established advisory bodies to address the association's major functions: marketing, technical issues, government relations, international trade, and the IDEA trade show.

INDA's Government Relations Advisory Board (GRAB) is responsible for formulating and advocating the legislative and regulatory positions that represent the interests of INDA member companies. GRAB also gives INDA members enhanced exposure to government decisionmakers and provides individual member companies with a group voice when participating in legislative and regulatory arenas.

GRAB is not the only INDA body responsible for legislative and/or regulatory activity and GRAB's agenda does not represent INDA's entire scope of government relations efforts. Other INDA groups responsible for government relations activities will be highlighted in future articles. GRAB Membership

GRAB's membership represents a cross section of INDA member companies. From large roll goods producers to the more specialized product manufacturers and industry consultants, GRAB members have a shared desire to become more involved in regulatory and legislative issues that impact the nonwovens industry.

As GRAB's Chairman, Tony Shaw, manager of regulatory affairs for Hoechst Celanese, has a broad understanding of governmental operations. He recognizes the power that results when individual companies work together through trade associations to bring about legislative and/or regulatory change. Membership in GRAB is open to all INDA member companies; representatives from those companies who have a desire to become more involved in governmental affairs are welcomed. Getting The inside Scoop

GRAB meets periodically throughout the year (normally three to four times) to exchange information and receive briefings from government officials. Meetings are held in INDA's Washington, D.C. office and provide an opportunity for government officials to meet with industry representatives and discuss initiatives impacting the nonwovens industry.

In the past six months, GRAB members have been given the "inside scoop" from key government officials on issues such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and other solid waste legislation pending in Congress; the findings and ramifications of the Environmental Protection Agency's recently-released report on dioxin levels found in disposable diapers and other consumer products (see June Issue of Nonwovens Industry); the Federal Trade Commission's review of the advertising claims of certain "environmentally friendly" consumer products; and federal legislation that could impact relationships between manufacturers and their distributors.

These briefings are typically given by officials at the highest department levels of the government agencies that they represent, or by the staff members from Congressional offices who were instrumental in drafting the legislation being reviewed. GRAB in Action

In its role of formulating and advocating legislative and regulatory positions, GRAB reviews bills, regulations and other proposals likely to have an impact on the nonwovens industry and makes recommendations for INDA policy.

At press time, GRAB was reviewing federal anti-trust legislation that could impact manufacturers of nonwoven materials. GRAB members are circulating a draft position statement on this issue and are to finish their considerations soon.

In addition, GRAB serves as an information network for INDA member companies. Since each of the GRAB members has an interest in governmental activities, there are opportunities to pool information on actions taking place that may not be common knowledge-especially those actions taking place at the state and local level.

Another one of GRAB's major benefits is the role it plays in identifying the nonwovens industry's "key players" on legislative and regulatory issues. The first people INDA staff look for on legislative and regulatory issues are the GRAB members and their influence is pervasive on INDA's handling of governmental matters. This is particularly important when issues appear with little warning or require a quick response for some other reason. In these situations, INDA staff turns to GRAB as a reliable base of contacts who can be made immediately aware of the situation.
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Title Annotation:Association of Nonwovens Fabrics Industry's Government Relations Advisory Board
Author:Mayberry, Peter
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Jul 1, 1990
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