|BIFMA Advocacy Areas|
The BIFMA Government Affairs Committee works on legislative and regulatory issues of interest to the association's members. The following is a list of some of those issues. Contact BIFMA's Director of Advocacy & Sustainability, Brad Miller, for more information on the committee or any of these issues.
The BIFMA Canadian Furniture Task Group was formed to help the Canadian Government make fair and smart furniture purchases without unduly limiting competition. After a significant amount of research, a Government Office Furniture Advisory Committee was established to advise Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) officials on best solutions for purchasing and productivity.
Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership In Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance (EO 13514) requires federal agencies to take actions that will contribute to the "Greening of Government”. BIFMA assisted the Interagency Product Standards and Ecolabels Subgroup that attempted to determine the best tools to help the government meet President Obama’s Executive Order. The interagency group's report will go to the White House Council on Environmental Quality for review and be published in the Federal Register before a government-wide process will be created for all agencies to follow.
BIFMA has long sought relief from a requirement in the
Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) that U.S. federal agencies buy products
from Federal Prison Industries (FPI) rather than the private sector. Over the
years, legislative actions have held this "mandatory source” status at bay
but language is still needed in the FAR to make it clear that all agencies are
free to purchase those products that best meet their needs.
Legislative and Regulatory Issues
Flame Retardants (FRs) - BIFMA strongly supports the
elimination of fire retardant chemicals of concern in all manufactured
products. The association and member
company representatives have assisted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) Design for the Environment (DfE) with initiatives to identify
alternatives to hazardous FRs. BIFMA is also working with the State of
California and environmental groups to change the fire code requirements that
have driven the use of FRs. While those requirements were developed for
legitimate fire protection purposes, we believe the risks associated with the
use of these chemicals are now appearing to be greater than the fire risk from
furniture without fire retardants.
Phthalates - BIFMA members have helped advise the EPA’s
"Design for the Environment (DfE) Partnership on Alternatives to Certain
Chemicals/Phthalates”. Phthalates are primarily used a plasticizers and use is
widespread with many formulations. The EPA is investigating safer alternatives.
BIFMA is working with the Mobile Workforce Coalition coordinated by
BIFMA is working with the Mobile Workforce Coalition coordinated bythe Council On State Taxation (COST) to support legislation that would simplify the onerous burden placed on employees who travel outside of their resident states for temporary periods and on employers who have corresponding withholding and reporting requirements. U.S. Senators Brown and Thune introduced S. 1645, the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2013, an identical companion bill to H.R. 1129, on 11-5-13 and the Coalition hopes to see it passed in this session of Congress.
BIFMA is a member of a Wood Fiber Coalition that is monitoring the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) and other issues pertaining to wood. The coalition is calling for U.S. Department of Agriculture policies that do not threaten the traditional wood sources of furniture industry suppliers and other industries (horticulture, landscaping, etc.) as "scrap wood” is targeted as an alternative energy option.