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The Final Word by Jim Thompson
World War III and Pulp & Paper Pundits this past week have been referring to the conflagrations appearing around the globe as World War III. I even heard one calling it World War IV, citing the old Cold War as WW III.

A couple of comments as this pertains to our industry. First, of course, it is beyond our scope to comment on the various grievances that one group or body of people have with one another except to say that we have found papermakers worldwide to be a remarkably similar lot. Maybe in a small way the community of papermakers can help promote peace.

More germane, however, is what a conflagration can do to the industry’s stability. I plan to write more about this in Nip Impressions® next week, but suffice it to say, a disruption in shipping lanes, beyond that normally covered by insurance, will cause great problems. Domestic producers will find a huge surge in demand for their products in their home countries, as imports are cut off or delayed. At the same time, they will be frustrated by a lack of raw materials which they normally import.

Once again, we will understand that shipping which is not in one’s own sovereign waters can be insecure. Let us hope it does not come to that.

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