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SOCMA Welcomes Start of US-EU Free Trade Negotiations

February 13, 2013

The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) welcomed President Obama’s announcement during his State of the Union address that the U.S. and the European Union (EU) will begin free trade negotiations.

“Trade agreements provide U.S. chemical manufacturers greater access to the world’s consumers and positively contribute to the growth of the U.S. economy,” said Lawrence D. Sloan, president and CEO. “Such agreements support domestic manufacturing jobs by offering access for our competitive, innovative products.”

The U.S. chemical industry stands to benefit the most from an U.S.-EU FTA. In 2011, the industry paid more than $1 billion in tariffs to export to the EU, according to Bloomberg Government. Organic chemical manufacturers account for $600 million of that total.

Sloan said SOCMA will soon announce recommendations to help address non-tariff barriers, such as REACH – the EU’s regulatory system for chemicals.

“Specialty chemical manufacturers are well-positioned to influence an agreement with the EU because of SOCMA’s well-established relationships with U.S. trade agencies and through our unique experiences with REACH,” said Sloan.

Signing new free trade agreements is a major tenet of SOCMA’s “First 100 Days” initiative, an education and advocacy strategy that emphasizes the need for policies that support competitiveness and market expansion for specialty chemical manufacturing.