From the EU, a Bad Proposal on Market Access

By April 18, 2011Trade

The National Association of Manufacturers on April 14 joined other trade associations in a letter to Obama Administration officials opposing the latest proposal from the European Union on international standardization under the Non-Agricultural Market Access portion of the WTO negotiations, that is, provisions dealing with limits on trade of such items as manufactured goods. From the letter:

The EU’s newest NAMA proposal on international standards restricts choice and flexibility not only by naming their list of preferred standardizing bodies and suggesting that only standards developed by these bodies are relevant internationally within the context of the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, but by essentially requiring countries to use standards from those bodies. While this proposal is consistent with traditional European standards strategy, it fails to recognize that thousands of international standards and test methods that emanate from other globally respected standardizing bodies that currently serve as the basis for effective technical regulations or conformity assessment procedures which facilitate trade and enhance protection of public health, safety and the environment across many WTO Members and observers. The proposal also ignores significant proposals in Europe, Japan and elsewhere to expand the range of legally acceptable standards, including those developed by fora and consortia.

If the EU position were to be adopted, it would lead to technical regulations or conformity assessment procedures potentially becoming outdated as these few designated internationalstandards bodies would become choke points to standards development and deployment. While the EU asserts that its proposal responds to industry demands, we wish to make clear to you that we are strongly opposed to it.

The other signers:
Aluminum Extruders Council
American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)
American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC)
American Cleaning Institute
American Iron and Steel Institute
American Petroleum Institute
American Wood Council
Emergency Committee for American Trade (ECAT)
National Biodiesel Board
National Foreign Trade Council
NEMA: The Association of Electrical and Medical Imaging Equipment Manufacturers
SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association
The Aluminum Association
United States Council for International Business
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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