ROSSLYN, Va., December 7, 2005- The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is calling on World Trade Organization (WTO) member governments to make major advances in opening up international trade in electrical equipment and energy services.
"By eliminating both tariff and non-tariff barriers to commerce in these goods and services, governments can benefit millions of people worldwide by facilitating the building of modern infrastructures that raise standards of living and attract investment in developing and developed economies alike," says NEMA President Evan Gaddis. "This month's WTO Ministerial meeting in Hong Kong provides an ideal opportunity to move ahead with such a commitment."
NEMA supports the so-called non-agricultural market access (NAMA) talks that focus on reducing barriers to trade in industrial goods through an ambitious formula that cuts high tariffs more than low tariffs and provides real improvements in market access. The association also strongly endorses the proposal by Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the United States to launch a sectoral negotiating initiative to liberalize trade in the electrical and electronic sectors. In a recent letter to NEMA, U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman indicated that he is impressed by the broad range of countries that are interested.
"We urge other WTO members, especially advanced developing countries, to join the initiative as soon as possible," noted Gaddis. "While we feel an agreement should be struck quickly with the broadest product coverage, we understand that flexibility involving longer tariff phase-outs for some developing countries may prove necessary."
The U.S. electrical equipment industry will be represented at the Hong Kong Ministerial by representatives from member companies such as Rockwell Automation. NEMA staff has made the case for electrical trade liberalization directly to WTO negotiators as part of two international industry delegations to Geneva this year. The association is a founding member of the National Association of Manufacturers' Zero Tariff Coalition, as well as a member of the American Business Coalition for Doha (ABCDoha) and the U.S. High Tech Trade Coalition (HTTC).
NEMA is the largest trade association representing the interests of U.S. electrical equipment manufacturers, whose worldwide annual sales exceed $120 billion. The 400 member companies of NEMA manufacture products used in the generation, transmission, distribution, control, and use of electricity. These products are used in utility, industrial, commercial, institutional and residential installations. The Association's Medical Products Division represents manufacturers of medical diagnostic imaging equipment including MRI, CT, x-ray, ultrasound, and nuclear products.
Cheryl D. Smith
Public Relations Specialist