Roy Paulson, President of Paulson Manufacturing Corporation, is testifying today on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers before the House Ways and Means Committee, “Hearing on the Pending Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea and the Creation of U.S. Jobs.”
His prepared statement (available here) talks about the reality of trade and tariffs and how enactment of free trade agreements would expand opportunities for manufacturers and small business. Excerpt:
Take a moment and think of the opportunity these agreements will present to the small business community here in the United States. I have had success selling such varied items as patented eye care products on South Korean cable television to Electrical Safety equipment in Colombia. The security products sold to Panama are a continuing source of repeat business, and safety equipment with a 6 percent duty that will be eliminated will be a viable item as the canal is widened over many years. In addition to my own sales, I encourage other manufactures to sell their products in these countries and freely supply my contacts and experience gained from my years of effort.
In all three countries with pending Free Trade Agreements the reduction in tariffs will have a direct impact on sales of our products. I just spoke to my Korean contact, Bryan Kim, and he is extremely excited about the 8 percent tariff being removed immediately because now he is in a stronger competitive position and the market immediately becomes broader allowing sales into main stream applications. He also commented that the Korean consumer’s perception of US products is one of quality and that the Made in the USA label is very important. He went on further to say that the price is critical and import duties are generally paid by the importer along with the freight charges. Eliminating the eight percent tariff will have a direct and immediate benefit and increased sales.
Colombia is truly a special case in South America. The Free Trade Agreement has been sold to the people as tremendous improvement and everyone is waiting for this to occur. My customers have been paying 20 percent tariffs on hundreds of thousands of dollars of my imported products and this has reduced the range of items that they could purchase from me. In other words, from my broad product offering, only the items that they could not purchase from Europe, Brazil or China were being brought in from the USA. After the agreement we can all begin to enjoy a more competitive environment for my full product range.
Other prepared statements:
- Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation
- Michael L. Ducker, Chief Operating Officer and President, International, FedEx Express
- William J. Toppeta, President, International, MetLife
- Stephen E. Biegun, Corporate Officer and Vice President of International Governmental Affairs, Ford Motor Company
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