Cefic statement on proposal by EU-US Working Group on Jobs and Growth

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Trade group says trade deal would wipe out €1.5 billion in chemicals import duties

“A trade agreement would lower costs of chemicals trade, help grow economies and create jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.” - Cefic President Kurt Bock

Cefic strongly supports the proposal by the EU-US High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth to initiate negotiations on a comprehensive free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States.

Cefic believes that such an agreement should go beyond a simple free trade deal to include “21st century” trade issues such as regulatory cooperation and other potential non-tariff barriers.

A trans-Atlantic trade pact would provide a much-needed boost to economic recovery in both markets, especially in terms of growth and jobs. The United States is already the European Union’s biggest chemicals trading partner, with total chemicals trade activity reaching €46 billion. A deal between the two largest economies would wipe out €1.5 billion in chemical import duties, several hundred million of which involving intra-company trade.

Cefic President Kurt Bock said: “A trade agreement would lower costs of chemicals trade, help grow economies and create jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Regulatory cooperation would also help yield substantial savings for both companies and authorities. Chemicals will take a prominent place on the EU-US regulatory cooperation agenda and Cefic stands ready, together with its US counterpart, the American Chemistry Council, to contribute constructively to this work. Key objectives should be to simplify regulatory processes, improve transparency and promote efficiencies – such as common data sets and definitions – while keeping the same level of health and environmental safeguards.

The agreement would also give a powerful signal for trade liberalisation at a time of looming protectionism and a stalled World Trade Organisation agenda.

For more information, contact: James Pieper, media relations manager, Cefic, on desk phone +32 (0)2 676 7398 or via e-mail at jpi(at)cefic(dot)be.

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About Cefic
Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council, is the Brussels-based organisation representing the European chemicals industry. Created in 1972, it represents 29,000 companies, including SMEs, which produce about a fifth of the world’s chemicals. For more information, go to http://www.cefic.org.

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James Pieper
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