Consumer Electronics: Trade is a Key to Progress

By January 8, 2008Trade

CES.gifFrom The Los Angeles Times, “Amid the tech-talk, a free trade message.”

WASHINGTON — While the consumer electronics world is watching Las Vegas this week, many manufacturers are also keeping an eye on foreign markets where they can build and sell their latest gadgets.

The head of the trade group behind the International Consumer Electronics Show used the stage to drive home a political message Monday: Foreign trade is key to the growth of the industry and the overall health of the U.S. economy.

Gary Shapiro, president and chief executive of the Consumer Electronics Assn., said that without trade deals to lower the costs of making and selling products in new foreign markets, technology companies won’t be able to continue producing the stream of innovative and increasingly affordable gizmos flowing into American homes.

CES has a webpage devoted to trade issues, International Trade Matters, and Shapiro sponsored a conference call for reporters with U.S. Trade Reprepresentative Susan C. Schwab. (Details here.)

Shapiro joined Dan Glickman of the Motion Picture Association of America and Mitch Bainwol, chairman of the Recording Industry Association of America, in sending a letter to Congress warning of the consequences of protectionism. Variety quotes the letter:

The U.S. consumer electronics, motion picture and recording industries are among the strongest drivers of American innovation and economic growth. Our industries promote the currency of democracy: ingenuity, innovation and the pursuit of personal and artistic expression. The growth of our industries, and our ability to promote American values, depends on access to foreign markets.

Hollywood Reporter has more.

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