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Zelenskyy to Manufacturers: We Will Prove That Democracy Is Stronger Than Tyranny

Timmons: America, and the American business community, stands with Ukraine today, tomorrow, through the end of the war

Boca Raton, FL – This morning, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered remarks to the National Association of Manufacturers Board of Directors.

To view the address and a transcript of the remarks, click HERE.

Key Excerpts:

Voldodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine:

But what will our joint victory mean? This is not a purely ideological battle. Yes, we will prove that democracy is stronger than tyranny. When Russia loses, we will prove that terrorist states cannot overcome the power of a united democratic world.


The American business [community] has every opportunity to take on leadership positions both in the reconstruction of the Ukrainian economy and infrastructure, and in demonstrating to the world that human nature should serve worthy goals and that it produces, and will always produce, the best result.


All these are not just investment opportunities, not just industries and not just growth. This is a wide space for victories—your victories, American business. And I urge you to prepare for these victories now, to come to Ukraine now so that by the time we restore peace, your hard work has already yielded results. And I believe that it will be soon. Thank you for your attention. I invite all of you to Ukraine. Glory to our brave soldiers. Glory to Ukraine.

Jay Timmons, President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers:

Ukraine’s fight is our fight because this is far more than a war between two countries. It is a battle between freedom and tyranny. So America, and the American business community, stands with Ukraine today, tomorrow, through the end of the war and as Ukrainians rebuild their country after Russia is defeated.


We reaffirm our support for the “sanctions implemented against Russia” and for Ukraine’s “fight to preserve freedom and independence.” And we reaffirm our “commitment … to safeguarding democracy and democratic institutions not only here at home, but also abroad.”


Manufacturers in America will continue to stand with Ukraine, and we will be there after Russia is defeated so that we can help you and your people build a stronger nation forever rooted in our shared democratic values.

BACKGROUND: The NAM has been an active and vocal supporter of Ukraine’s fight to defend democracy. More information on these efforts can be found below:


The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs nearly 13 million men and women, contributes $2.81 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 55% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit

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Press Releases

NAM Honors Snap-on CEO Nick Pinchuk for Extraordinary Commitment to Manufacturing in America

Boca Raton, FL—The National Association of Manufacturers today honored NAM board member and Snap-on Chairman and CEO Nick Pinchuk with the Manufacturing Icon Award during the NAM’s spring board meeting in Boca Raton, Florida. The award recognizes leaders who inspire Americans to promote, perpetuate and preserve manufacturing in America.

“Across the industry and across the business community, executives and employees alike look up to Nick Pinchuk. His storied career is a source of inspiration, and he is a wealth of knowledge, a wise counselor and a tireless advocate for the rewarding careers found in modern manufacturing. He has been a tremendous supporter of the NAM and the Manufacturing Institute’s Creators Wanted campaign to build the manufacturing workforce of today and tomorrow, and his policy advocacy on behalf of the industry is best-in-class,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.

“His presence on television and in the public eye as a principled manufacturing leader, as well as his unwavering service to the NAM and to our industry, makes Nick a true model for business leaders in America. In whatever he does, he demonstrates an unshakeable commitment to the values that have made our country exceptional and keep manufacturing strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity. We’re honored to present this award to Nick in recognition of his outstanding leadership.”

Pinchuk serves on the NAM Executive Committee as the NAM tax, domestic economic and regulatory reform policy vice chair and on the board of directors of the Manufacturing Institute, the workforce development and education partner of the NAM.


The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 13 million men and women, contributes $2.81 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 55% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit

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Business Operations

Pella Corp. Takes a “Holistic” Approach to Work

Pella Corp. does more than make windows and doors; it has helped create a welcoming, pleasant community in its namesake Iowa town.

To help attract and retain workers, the privately held, family-owned, 98-year-old company and its shareholders are investing in a number of crucial amenities and services, including child care, housing and dining/entertainment options.

We spoke to Pella Corp. Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer John Bollman recently, and he told us how it happened.

A great first impression: Prospective hires in need of relocation always get a full tour of the town—and they are always impressed, according to Bollman.

  • “People consistently come back [from the tours] and say, ‘Wow, I’m surprised—in a positive way—in the community. It’s a small community, but it’s beautiful and vibrant.’”
  • “Pella is a community that takes pride in its heritage and history and the shareholder family has always played a key role in enhancing the community’s appeal,” he added.

How it happened: Several years ago, Pella Corp. President and CEO Tim Yaggi, in a presentation to Pella Corp. shareholders, indicated that different investments were needed to improve local housing, child care and amenities. These upgrades would help the company attract and retain the talent it needed to achieve its long-term growth goals, Yaggi said.

  • The shareholder family committed nearly $30 million to these initiatives, which included investment in the construction of a high-end condominium/townhouse complex, as well as a 160-acre development geared toward median-income households.
  • They also purchased, remodeled and expanded a local building, turning it into a state-of-the-art daycare facility. In 2021, under the management of national daycare operator New Horizon Academy, the Pella New Horizon Academy opened, serving children aged six weeks through 5 years.
  • In addition, they partnered with fellow Pella-based firm Vermeer Corp. to bring Smash Park, a craft-food and entertainment venue, to the town.
  • And last, the company helped to establish both a local Chick-fil-A restaurant and Liberty Street Kitchen, one of the community’s fine-dining establishments.

A holistic approach: Pella Corp. knows that when it fills a job at the company, it’s also bringing in new town residents, and that’s a responsibility it takes seriously.

  • “When you’re recruiting talent, the company is assessing fit for the role,” Bollman said. “But when it comes to location, our job is to facilitate the ability of the candidate—and if they have a family, the family, too—to determine whether Pella as a community is a good fit.”
  • The approach is paying off. One recent key hire had to relocate for the position, and before the family visited the town of Pella, they were certain they wanted to live in larger Des Moines, about an hour away. “But because they were able to find good child care and housing, they decided to live in Pella,” Bollman said.

Meeting parents’ needs: The high cost and low availability of child care is an enormous burden on families, so it’s no surprise that the affordably priced, high-quality Pella New Horizon Academy is highly sought after.

  • The center, which is currently at capacity at 140 children and has a waitlist of about 50, is open to all. Nearly a third are Pella Corp. employees’ kids, according to Bollman.
  • “We wanted to invest in child care for our team members and our broader community,” he said.
  • The cost is 35-40% less than the average price of daycare in Des Moines, according to Bollman. 

Onward and upward: Pella Corp. has big plans for its child-care initiative, says Bollman. If it can expand its staff, “we could go to 194 enrolled kids, and with some additions to the building, that could go to 225.”

  • He has no doubt that the center will easily fill those spaces. “Everyone I’ve talked to that has a child at the center is just over the moon.”
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Business Operations

Why R&D Matters to International Paper

Innovation is getting more expensive—and that should worry all of us.

Until recently, businesses could deduct 100% of their R&D expenses in the same year they incurred those costs. But a tax law that took effect at the beginning of 2022 requires businesses to spread their deductions out over five years instead, driving up the cost of the innovations that keep our economy strong.

At International Paper—an American supplier of renewable fiber-based recyclable packaging and pulp products—that change is causing serious challenges. We spoke to Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller Holly Goughnour and Senior Director for Government Affairs Kaitlin Sighinolfi to learn more.

Why it matters: “Our company invests in R&D for two main reasons: making better products for our customers and creating safer, more efficient and sustainable manufacturing processes,” said Goughnour.

  • “We spend a lot of time and money working to make a better performing, more sustainable and more durable product, but innovation is about more than the product—it’s also about improving the safety and efficiency, and reducing the environmental impact, of our operations.”

The scale: International Paper devotes a significant portion of its resources to innovation, and as a result, the change in tax law has an outsized impact.

  • “Much of our free cash flow goes to R&D activities,” said Goughnour. “The change in tax law has resulted in a significant amount of additional cash taxes in this first year, reducing the amount of capital available to invest back into our business, including additional R&D.”

The competition: Goughnour and Sighinolfi also emphasized the need for a tax system that helps manufacturers in the U.S. to compete with companies abroad. According to Goughnour, the new tax change does the opposite.

  • “The new tax law enables European and Chinese competitors to accelerate their R&D faster than us,” said Goughnour. “We’re in a global marketplace, and the new tax law puts U.S. manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage.”
  • “Almost nobody else in the world has this policy,” said Goughnour. “R&D is an absolute growth engine for the U.S. economy. Why would we have a tax policy that discourages investment in R&D? It makes no sense.”

The last word: “Ours is a supply chain story,” said Sighinolfi. “Innovation should be part of the overall manufacturing value chain, but the new law reduces the value of innovation, slowing investment in innovation and ultimately hurts American businesses, employees and consumers.”

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Business Operations

How Smart Glasses Helped a Manufacturer Through the Pandemic

How does an expert in one facility guide an engineer halfway across the country through implementing a new technology? Food and beverage packaging manufacturer Crown Holdings found an innovative answer during the pandemic, when its employees couldn’t travel freely: it equipped them with smart glasses.

This pilot program, the subject of a new case study by the Innovation Research Interchange (the NAM’s innovation division), has shown a great deal of promise. Here’s some of what the company has learned so far.

How it worked: The glasses make it possible for experts to connect with on-site workers in real time, thanks to their built-in cameras, microphones, speakers and high-resolution display. The glasses can even be integrated with Microsoft Teams.

  • “When the pandemic started, we were trying to coordinate commissioning activities through email and WhatsApp messaging,” said Crown Holdings Project Industrial Engineer Leon Azzi. “Tasks that normally took two to three days were taking weeks.”
  • But with the glasses, “[The workers] could share with each other the PLC (programmable logic controllers) electrical diagrams and pictures using the glasses viewer, and the remote experts could point them to areas to focus on in real time,” said Crown Holdings Digital Optimization Team Head Alberto Rodriguez.

Working out the kinks: The company is still perfecting its use of the glasses, which do need some optimization for a manufacturing environment.

  • One issue is with the Wi-Fi, since the glasses need a consistent connection that is sometimes hard to find in a manufacturing facility.
  • In addition, the integrated noise cancellation headphones that come with the glasses need some upgrades, as the workplace can be incredibly loud and impede easy communication.
  • Workers also found the weight of the glasses on their heads to be uncomfortable at times, especially as they were already wearing other safety equipment.
  • And last, the screen in the smart glasses is relatively small, which can make it difficult for workers to read.

The path ahead: Crown Holdings considers the program to be a success and plans to expand its use of smart glasses in other areas, including worker training and the mapping of visual data onto equipment. It also hopes the glasses can improve worker interactions with machines via their voice recognition technology, which could allow remote workers to zoom in or capture photos from afar through voice commands.

Learn more: Read more about Crown Holdings’ experience at the IRI Learning Center.

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Manufacturers Support Aid for Eastern Europe

It’s been nearly a year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but NAM partner Project HOPE hasn’t let up on its humanitarian aid efforts. With the generous support of many NAM members, it has helped tens of thousands of people who have seen their lives torn apart by the conflict.

What’s going on: Project HOPE—the global health and humanitarian aid organization on the ground providing relief in Ukraine and supporting refugees in Poland, Romania and Moldova—is delivering millions of dollars in medicines, medical supplies, trauma care training, mental health assistance and more to those in need.

What’s been accomplished: To date, the humanitarian relief organization has:

  • Delivered 24 generators to health facilities and 34,000 hygiene kits and nonfood items in Ukraine;
  • Launched 10 mobile medical units that have treated more than 35,000 patients in Eastern Europe;
  • Partnered with 13 local organizations in Eastern Europe to support emergency response;
  • Helped provide medical care to more than 5,800 Ukrainian refugee children in Poland;
  • Provided nine child playrooms in Moldova that have provided services to more than 3,750 Ukrainian refugee children; and
  • Donated more than 300 wheelchairs and other mobility equipment to refugees and others living with disabilities in Romania and Ukraine.

Helping those in need: “Manufacturers are committed to giving back: saving lives, protecting communities and responding quickly in times of trouble,” said NAM Emergency Response Committee Co-Chair and Senior Director of International Trade and Regulatory Affairs Ryan Ong.

  • “That includes efforts to stand with the people of Ukraine through strong support to those providing badly needed help in the region. That’s why we’ve been pleased to support and partner with Project HOPE, which is making a difference on the ground.”

The last word: “We are so grateful for the support of the NAM community who has been an integral partner in our Ukraine response,” said Project HOPE Executive Vice President of Global Health Chris Skopec.

  • “As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we at Project HOPE remain committed to continuing to deliver medicines, medical supplies, mental health support and other urgent assistance for the people of Ukraine.”

Get involved: If you’d like to donate to those in need in Ukraine and the region, you can do so via the NAM’s partnership with Project HOPE. For more information about NAM efforts or to share what your company is doing, contact the NAM Emergency Response Committee at [email protected].

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The Top 8 Manufacturing Trends for 2023

The NAM recently released its Top 8 Manufacturing Trends for 2023—a guide to the opportunities ahead and the resources that the NAM can offer. Here is what to look out for this year and beyond.  

Advanced and emerging technology: Manufacturers are investing in a multitude of new technologies, including artificial intelligence, virtual reality, machine learning and more. Automation and robotics are enhancing workers’ abilities but will also require many more high-skilled employees. Though the workforce shortage is a challenge, digital technologies will help manufacturers become more resilient, efficient and profitable.

Supply chain resilience: As manufacturers face long lead times, increased costs and a scarcity of raw materials, they are taking steps to boost supply chain resilience through reshoring, cybersecurity, increased supplier pools and more.

  • NAM resources: Manufacturers can benefit from resources like CONNEX Marketplace, which helps connect nearby manufacturers and suppliers; the NAM’s Supply Chain Hub—a continually updated collection of webinars and policy documents focusing on supply chain issues; and useful case studies highlighting best practices.

Talent disruptions and opportunities: Manufacturers are confronting a range of challenges around the workforce, including labor shortages and skills gaps, while also figuring out how to take advantage of previously untapped talent pools. 

Cybersecurity: The threat from bad actors is real, and strong cybersecurity has become critical to manufacturing operations up and down the supply chain. At the same time, manufacturers will have to be on the lookout for new cybersecurity reporting requirements.

  • NAM resources: The NAM can help, with support like the NAM’s complimentary Cyber Risk Assessment. NAM Cyber Cover offers cyber insurance and risk mitigation, and you can check out these videos from manufacturing executives laying out best practices for cybersecurity defenses. 

Post-pandemic growth and expansion: Long-term goals shouldn’t be downgraded, despite an uncertain economy. Manufacturers should keep pursuing technological advances, navigate government incentives and stay open to mergers, acquisitions and other investments.

  • NAM resources: The NAM Incentives Locator helps manufacturers find funds and tax credits to help their business, while the MLC offers networking opportunities for manufacturing leaders.

Tough economic outlook: There’s no doubt that manufacturers face economic headwinds. That means manufacturers need to look for ways to be nimble and responsive to changing realities and able to work more efficiently than ever. 

  • NAM resources: Tools like NAM Shipping & Logistics give manufacturers discounts on shipping and freight, while NAM Energy offers conversations with energy advisers who can help adjust energy use strategies. IRI Coffee Houses promote virtual conversations with innovation leaders to discuss new developments and opportunities.

Sustainability: Manufacturers are committed to strengthening operations and maintaining a healthy planet at the same time. More than ever, manufacturing companies are looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions.

Looking ahead to 2030: Changes in the manufacturing industry and in the world around us—from population growth to the rise of a new middle class to increased interconnectivity—have manufacturers planning for big changes in the next decade. 

  • NAM resources: The IRI offers a forum for manufacturers to connect with R&D leaders, while the MLC’s Next Phase of Digital Evolution report shows how manufacturing leaders can plan their long-term futures.

 Learn more: Take a look at the full guide for more details and to find out more about the NAM resources that will help manufacturers deal with these key trends.



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How Manufacturers and Suppliers Can Find Each Other

With supply chains in flux across the country and around the world, manufacturers frequently face obstructions that can hold up their operations and delay critical deliveries.

That’s where CONNEX Marketplace can help.

What it is: Built in collaboration with the NAM, manufacturers and other manufacturing associations, CONNEX Marketplace is a one-stop shop that brings together U.S. manufacturers and suppliers in one clear, verified and searchable database—offering a full picture of the supply chain and helping manufacturers and suppliers find the partners they need.

Why it matters: Especially at a time when supply chains are increasingly complex and constantly under strain, it’s important for manufacturers to understand the full journey of their products.

  • By providing manufacturers with detailed data visualization tools as well as blacklist verification, CONNEX helps manufacturers reduce risks in their supply chains and avoid problematic routes and purchases.

How it works: Comprehensive local and national search tools offer manufacturers the opportunity to post their needs and to connect easily and quickly with suppliers using criteria including capabilities, equipment, processes and materials.

  • By matching needs with available supplies, the site also helps manufacturers find alternate suppliers when necessary and improve the diversity and resiliency of their supply chains to guard against shocks and snags.

Governors support it: State leaders across the country are speaking up about the power of CONNEX, laying out the value of the program and urging manufacturers to get involved.

  • “I think what you’re hearing here with CONNEX … you’re hearing the doors opening on great opportunities for Wyoming,” said Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon. “It’s gonna expand our footprint regionally, nationally and globally.”
  • CONNEX “better connects the Utah manufacturing industry, shortens and reduces supply chain costs and provides new business opportunities to Utah manufacturers and suppliers,” said Utah Gov. Spencer Cox.
  • “CONNEX is hugely important,” said Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt. “We’re trying to get everyone to look on this CONNEX website.… If you’re not on that and you’re a manufacturer in Oklahoma, we encourage you to engage with that.”

What we’re saying: “This one-of-a-kind tool empowers manufacturers of all sizes, both buyers and sellers, to be found, increase supply chain optimization and mitigate risk,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “It’s a game-changer for U.S. manufacturers.”

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Business Operations

How Will AI Impact the Manufacturing Workforce?

AI is changing the way manufacturers do business—from the production line to the back office and across the supply chain. At the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s Manufacturing in 2030 Project: Let’s Talk about AI event last month in Nashville, Tennessee, panelists discussed how those sweeping changes would alter, and enhance, the manufacturing workforce.

A collaboration between the MLC (the NAM’s digital transformation arm) and the MI (the NAM’s 501(c)3 workforce development and education partner), the event provided key insights for manufacturers into how technology and workforce trends interact with each other. Here are a few key takeaways. 

Net positive: “The history of technology adoption is about improving the job quality of individuals on the shop floor. AI helps them to do the job better, provide them with better tools, gives them greater authority and ultimately increases the value-add of their jobs. All of that is a net positive for those individuals,” said MI Vice President of Workforce Solutions Gardner Carrick.

  • By leveraging data and enabling greater efficiency, AI will improve communication, increase collaboration across disciplines and stimulate innovation, according to the panel.
  • In addition, “AI can even inform the workforce’s creativity by working with it to design a new product or system,” said Jacey Heuer, lead, data science and advanced analytics, Pella Corporation.

Skills needed: While you might expect that implementing AI requires workers skilled in programming, data science and machine learning, manufacturers will also need to expand their bench of critical thinkers and problem-solvers. The panelists had a few tips to help companies along.

  • Invest in upskilling programs to make the AI integration process at your company smoother and develop the talent you already have.
  • Update job descriptions to reflect the skill sets the company will need in the next five to seven years.
  • Consider recruiting for and teaching adaptive skills—skills that enable individuals to adapt easily to changing demands and environments—which can increase the flexibility of your workforce.
  • Build partnerships with local schools, community colleges and technical and vocational schools to develop talent pipelines that will meet your needs.

The human-AI collaboration: While AI will take over monotonous, repetitive tasks, the panelists predicted that the industry will continue to center around human labor.

  • “You can teach AI to do X. You can teach AI to do Y. [However,] combining the two may be really difficult for AI, while a human can do it better. You’re going to continue to see humans in roles that center on making decisions and telling stories,” said Asi Klein, managing director, industrial products and organization transformation, Deloitte Consulting.
  • Meanwhile, AI adoption will likely lead to an increase in available jobs, as more skilled workers will be needed to guide and inform these new processes.

The last word: “Over the last 12 years, we’ve seen a lot of technology adoption, but we have not seen a lot of job loss. In fact, we’ve seen job gains,” said Carrick. “There is a lot of opportunity to reimagine jobs to add value that AI will help to illuminate.”

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Business Operations

How Digital Manufacturing Creates Business Opportunities

It’s time to think way outside the proverbial box, according to the Manufacturing Leadership Council, the NAM’s digital transformation arm. In fact, as we get closer to 2030, manufacturers are creating entirely new boxes—including new digital business models, products and services, revenue streams, ways to serve customers and opportunities to increase competitiveness.

Collaborative innovation: By 2030, metaverse technologies will provide rich virtual environments for the collaborative development of new ideas. These shared virtual spaces will enable contributors from multiple remote locations to collaborate in real time.

  • These collaborations may include manufacturers, partners, academic institutions and research institutes.
  • New concepts can be tested in a virtual world before moving to physical prototyping or production.

Outcome-based products and services: As digital platforms mature and products become increasingly smart and connected, the decade ahead may see a boom in more outcome-based services. This is where the customer doesn’t buy a physical product, but instead signs up to pay for the guaranteed outcomes that product or system delivers.

  • This shift will require manufacturers to establish new infrastructure rich in predictive analytics, remote communications and consumption monitoring.
  • It also requires a mindset change for traditional manufacturing, from a focus on units and costs to product lifecycles, performance levels and usage.

Blockchain networks: By 2030, blockchain could be leveraged for most world trade, helping to provide the secure traceability and provenance needed to prevent physical product counterfeiting, grey markets in medicines and even the adulteration of the global food supply chain.

  • A blockchain is an electronically distributed ledger accessible to multiple users. Blockchains record, process and verify every transaction, making them safe, trusted, permanent and transparent.
  • Blockchain technologies promise to be a viable solution to manufacturers’ need to automate, secure and accelerate the processing of key transactions across industrial ecosystems.

E-manufacturing marketplaces: Digitally empowered production-line adaptability, such as the kind that emerged during the pandemic, will provide a foundation for companies to offer spare production capacity to other companies in different sectors.

  • This maximizes the return on a company’s production-line investments and can generate new revenue streams for the future.
  • Combined with e-commerce, e-manufacturing will enable designers, engineers and/or smaller companies to more easily connect with a large pool of qualified producers to deliver and scale a final product.

Manufacturing in 2030 Project: New Boxes is just one of the industry trends and themes identified by the Manufacturing in 2030 Project, a future-focused initiative of the MLC. For more details on megatrends, industry trends and key themes for Manufacturing in 2030, download the MLC’s new white paper “The Next Phase of Digital Evolution.”

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