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What will the year bring?
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Good question...

We finished out 2019 with the US government in gridlock, yet more conflict in the Middle East, seemingly intractable problems unresolved. In our own industry, there seems to be some turmoil in the containerboard grades and perhaps in the recycled fiber market.

I tend to be an optimist, particularly in our own industry. My attitude these days is we got through the 1990's we can get through anything. Even look at old Marcal Tissue. This time last year, they experienced a horrible fire, a catastrophic loss. Yet they have announced they are in the throes of starting up, rebuilt.

In March, I'll mark 50 years in industry. There have been plenty of downs and many ups as well. Manufacturing people are resilient as long as they have a relatively regulatory world in which to operate. I'll choose to be optimistic about 2020.

Jim Thompson is CEO of Paperitalo Publications.

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