Original Press Release
NAM Commends European Commission for Resolving Long-Standing Labeling Issue
Press release date: January 12, 2009
U.S. Exporters Can Continue Using Dual Labels
WASHINGTON, D.C. January 12, 2009 - The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today commended the European Union and the U.S. Government for resolving a long-standing transatlantic trade issue related to labeling of products imported into the EU.
"The NAM has been working on this challenge for more than 20 years. The issue revolved around Europe's pending 'Metric Only' regulations that could have imposed severe costs on U.S. exporters," said NAM Senior Director of International Business Policy Shaun Donnelly. "Absent an agreement, the EU was poised to require all imports from the U.S. have metric labels only, no non-metric or imperial measurements (e.g. pounds, tons, feet, inches or psi), would have been allowed. That could very significantly increase costs for manufacturers, especially small and medium manufacturers. The EU is a major market for U.S. exports.
"The NAM commends the European Union for its very constructive approach to this long-standing challenge," Donnelly said. "Extending the current dual-labeling provisions indefinitely is a good solution for business in the U.S., in Europe, and around the world. It is also good for consumers. By taking action ahead of the scheduled expiration of the current temporary dual-labeling authorization, the EU has eliminated uncertainty and provided time for all the necessary formalities to be adopted across Europe without disrupting business operations.
"The NAM thanks all the European Commission officials, especially Commission Vice President Gunter Verheugen and his DG-Enterprise team, as well as EU member state officials who have worked hard on this issue for many years," Donnelly said.
"The NAM appreciates all those involved at the U.S. Department of Commerce, including its National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Mission to the European Union for their assistance," Donnelly said. Formal transposition of the amended directive into the laws and regulations of the 27 EU member states should occur during 2009 so that the revised EU directive will be fully in force by January 1, 2010, Donnelly said.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation's largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country. Visit the NAM's award-winning web site at www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy.