WASHINGTON, June 24, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Senate today seized an opportunity to promote U.S. growth and jobs in a global economy by passing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) praises the effort of Senate leaders who understand just how important this legislation is when negotiating free trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
"Once again we commend Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) for their bipartisan leadership and collaboration on moving TPA forward," said William E. Allmond, SOCMA Vice President of Government and Public Relations. "With small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) making up 95.5 percent of known chemical manufacturing exporters, this legislation is particularly important to SOCMA members, 85 percent of which are SMEs."
Based on 2013 chemical exports, more than half of the top 20 export markets are currently a part of TPP or TTIP negotiations. The passage of TPA allows the U.S. to continue these negotiations with confidence and creates strong negotiating objectives and mechanisms, where Congress can weigh in, and these agreements can deliver expected outcomes.
According to Allmond, the U.S. chemical industry also has more to gain in tariff reduction from the U.S.-EU agreement than any other manufacturing sector. "If approved, the industry would save more than $1 billion annually in eliminated tariffs," he said.
"These TTP and TTIP markets are also important now and in the future for the chemical industry and others, not because of market access, but also because it provides a means to address many other non-tariff issues," Allmond said.
Standing still on free trade means getting left behind, as countries around the world continue to negotiate deals among themselves.
Free trade agreements are not only important economically, they are also important geopolitically and strategically. For example, TPP countries make up nearly 40 percent of the global economy, and chemical exports to TPP countries have increased by nearly $11 billion since negotiations began in 2010.
SOCMA strongly supports free trade, including both TTP and TTIP, and looks forward to the President signing this important piece of legislation soon.
SOCMA is the only U.S.-based trade association dedicated solely to the specialty chemical industry. www.socma.com.
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SOURCE Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates