The NAM: One Voice on Trade

By February 1, 2005Trade

After all that’s been written and speculated about the NAM’s trade agenda (and the imagined rifts by those who would have it so), we announced today the NAM’s Trade Agenda in a morning roundtable with reporters. This is an agenda worked out over the last several months in regular meetings between large and small manufacturers, termed by one small manufacturer who particpated as, “a win for everyone”. When all was said and done, they coalesced around the following agenda:

— Achieve Broad Trade Liberalization with Effective Reciprocal Market Access in the WTO Doha Round (TPA Renewal, WTO Membership)

— Achieve Full Implementation and Enforcement of FTA/WTO Commitments and Rules

— Expand Market Access and Economic Benefits for U.S. Manufacturing through Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)

— Eliminate Trade-Distorting Subsidies & Defend, Preserve and Enhance the Effectiveness of WTO-Consistent U.S. Trade Law

— Reduce Trade Distorting Effects of Divergent National Regulations and Standards

— Promote Innovation through Strong Intellectual Property Protection, Enforcement and Anti-Counterfeiting

— Promote Trade Education and Advocacy to Improve U.S. Competitiveness

We also proposed a China-specific agenda, including:

— Revalue the Chinese Yuan to Reflect Economic Fundamentals

— Enforce and Enhance Intellectual Property Laws

— Retain China’s Non-Market Economy Status as Negotiated in PNTR

— Eliminate Chinese Administrative, Regulatory and Standards Barriers

— Expand Exports to China

— Promote Fair Competition

In addition, the NAM Trade Agenda identified five countries that we feel are best suited in the near term for bilateral trade agreements with the U.S. Remember that bilateral trade agreements lower barriers to entry for US-made goods. Remember, too, that 80% of our trade deficit is with countries with which we don’t have trade agreements. We cede that ground to other competitors.

Arnold Allemang of Dow Chemical, chair of the NAM’s International Economic Policy Committee stressed that this was a consensus document, and noted that access to customers is what’s important, noting that 95% of all customers are outside the US.

We know it’s not news when peace breaks out, but no matter how our foes would like to slice it, at least on the matter of trade, peace reigns in the manufacturing kingdom. On this, as with so many other issues, we speak with one voice.

Don’t believe us? Here’s a press release from a group of small manufacturers on the topic.