GOODBYE TO CHINA AND INVEST IN THE WISCONSIN PAPER INDUSTRY NOW! WISCONSIN HAS ALL THE TOOLS TO SUPPORT IT!
Unfortunately, over the past 20 plus years China has simply dominated the pulp and paper industry! Wisconsin and the USA must be clear-eyed about the stranglehold China & Asia have over the manufacturing, supply chain, transportation and resources supporting pulp and paper. China has purchased some critical assets in the United States and the trend will continue. The Paper and Pulp industry is the key to support our (PPCM) Printing, Packaging, Converting and Manufacturing Industries! We have a section below pointing out the current issues with China that will have a major impact on their pulp and paper industries. Now is time to bring back paper & pulp production to Wisconsin and the United States for our national security supporting our businesses and communities!
The Wisconsin Printing, Packaging and Converting Industries were built from the innovation of the Wisconsin Paper Industry. George W. Mead with Consolidated Papers built a world class mill developing the finest coated paper company in the world and it is shut down. Appleton Papers developed NCR and Wisconsin has so many of these success stories of innovation. Today, Wisconsin has seen our fine paper production continue to decline, leaving the State of Wisconsin and the 5P industries becoming dependent on Europe, Asia, India and a number of other countries that are putting in new state of the art paper machines. Wisconsin will lose our printing and converting industries unless we can re-invest in our Wisconsin Paper Mills. Today, we can’t find enough pulp or paper to supply our industries with allotments, long lead times, escalating prices, forcing consumers to find other venues and reducing the demand for printed products! The fine printing paper market is 24% of the paper production in the USA.
GBIG will be doing a series of articles to make our industries aware of what is happening and the importance of the paper industry to Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Printing Industry has over 30,000 employees, the paper industry has 30,000, the Converting Industry has over 20,000 employees and our forestry industry has 39,000 employees plus a large manufacturing base that supplies equipment and services to the paper and pulp industry.
China has become the largest paper manufacturing nation in the world displacing the USA! We will continue to see this trend with China building bigger tissue and fine paper mills producing uncoated and coated papers. According to FAO data compiled by Statista, China’s paper and paperboard production has grown over 21% in the past decade while production in the USA has declined by over 12%. (https://www.stastista.com/statistics/240598/production-of-paper-and-cardboard-in-selected-countries/). Uncoated and Coated papers are in desperate need in Wisconsin to support the printing, label, converting and packaging industries! Furthermore, China has directed smaller paper companies to shut down, consolidate or merge with the larger paper companies! Since the early 1990’s the Chinese companies have simply dominated the paper industry financed by the Chinese government! Unfortunately, the Wisconsin Paper industry has not invested in new equipment forgetting what MADE WISCONSIN – THE PAPER INDUSTRY. For nearly 175 years, the Wisconsin Paper Industry supported great paying jobs across the state especially in communities in northern regions that need those kinds of opportunities for economic sustainability. Despite the decline in paper production, the industry is the 5th largest industry in Wisconsin and the state remains the largest paper producer in the nation.
With war in Ukraine started by Russia and supported by China, the world Geo-Political situation should wake up the State of Wisconsin to come up with a business plan to re-build the Wisconsin Paper Industry. We will no longer be able to rely on China or for that matter Europe to supply paper to the USA market. The 5P, Converting and supporting manufacturing base is predicated on the supply of pulp and paper. Without it, Wisconsin will see many companies go out of business or experience a lot significant hardships. The trend is starting to take place in the printing industries with a decline in employment. If the Business Community, Government, etc. can’t put in place a Business Plan to BRING BACK PAPER to Wisconsin, we will continue to decline and never be able to recover. We have seen a 50% employment reduction in the Paper, Pulp and the supporting Forestry Industries from 1990 to 2022 in Wisconsin. China has seen explosive growth in paper industry employment from 2002 to 2022! Based upon statista, China employed over 608,000 people in the Paper and Paperboard Industry in December 2022. As of March 2022 the Wisconsin Paper Industry projects 30,000 employees.