Polyguard Products Inc. is an Ennis, Texas–based, 138-employee manufacturer that specializes in products that protect surfaces and structures from moisture, water and other substances. The company, which is 100 percent employee stock-owned, has experienced 24 consecutive years of unbroken sales expansion, dating all the way back to 1992.
Polyguard has received Presidential Export Achievement Awards in 2010 and 2014, success driven in large part by the company’s exports to about 30 countries of pipeline coatings for oil and gas-buried line maintenance and building products for high-value construction projects. Ten of these countries are in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with Vietnam currently the company’s largest market in the Asia-Pacific region. Polyguard also ships products to Singapore, New Zealand and Australia, among other countries in the region.
I recently spoke to Nathan Muncaster, Polyguard’s director of global business development, who underscored the importance of strong free trade agreements for manufacturing companies like Polyguard. “Intellectual property protections and a predictable regulatory environment are critical for small and medium-sized manufacturers like Polyguard that cannot maintain local production or offices outside of the United States. Trade agreements like the TPP strengthen the legal, intellectual property and regulatory environment in our trading partners, helping to boost exports that support manufacturing growth and jobs here in the United States.”
Muncaster went on to say, “We urge Congress to approve the TPP,” a sentiment shared by many manufacturers of all sizes throughout the United States.
With charts, graphs and political rhetoric flying around, it’s easy to forget the human aspect of trade: the many peoples’ lives that manufactured products touch, how far those products travel to reach customers around the world and the jobs in the United States created and supported in the process. Polyguard’s story is one of the many trade stories that need to be shared as the debate over TPP continues.
Over the coming weeks, using this blog, we will highlight several of these stories that demonstrate the importance of free trade agreements, specifically the TPP, for individual manufacturers in the United States and for their employees and communities.
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