National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)
NEMA Applauds Signing of U.S. Free Trade Agreements with Panama and South Korea
28 June 2007
ROSSLYN, Va. June 28, 2007- The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) congratulates U.S. trade negotiators on this week’s signing of two important bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs), and calls upon Congress to ratify the two FTAs as soon as possible.
"Not only do we strongly support Agreements such as these that extend the benefits of free trade to as many countries as possible," said NEMA President Evan Gaddis, "we especially do so in the case of the new FTAs with South Korea and Panama, which will serve to further strengthen ties with two of our closest allies."
NEMA members already enjoy bilateral electrical equipment trade surpluses with both countries. In Panama’s case, this stands to improve further, particularly in the context of the recently approved project to widen the Panama Canal. While the U.S. electrical equipment industry still has concerns relating to South Korea’s non-tariff barriers and intellectual property protection, the overall FTA package would improve conditions for selling there by featuring the elimination-most of it immediate-of remaining tariffs on goods in NEMA’s product scope. This will both open the door for increased NEMA member exports, and also provide the South Koreans with even better access to top-quality electrical equipment as they strive to take their country’s economic miracle to a higher level.
The U.S.-Panama FTA is to be signed on June 28, and the U.S.-South Korea FTA on June 30. Congress could approve the agreements as soon as this fall.
NEMA is the trade association of choice for the electrical manufacturing industry. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its approximately 450 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end-use of electricity. These products are used in utility, medical imaging, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. Domestic production of electrical products sold worldwide exceeds $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing, S£o Paulo, and Mexico City.