SPI International Trade Policy Statement
The U.S. plastics industry is facing unprecedented global competition and recognizes that the challenges brought forth by such international pressures and unchecked domestic pressures has resulted in domestic economic changes. SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association believes that manufacturing is necessary for the future well-being and national security of the United States. Therefore, SPI supports U.S. policies that enhance the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing and the U.S. plastics industry, as well as efforts to ensure compliance with international trade agreements. Therefore, SPI urges the Administration and Congress to recognize the importance of manufacturing to this nation and pursue the following trade agenda, which SPI believes is fundamentally necessary for the growth and health of the plastics industry:
- Enforcement and Compliance with Trade Agreements and U.S. Trade Laws: SPI understands that reaching consensus on market-opening agreements is only the first step towards market-driven trade. SPI strongly urges the Administration to expand and strengthen efforts to monitor and enforce existing trade agreements, including continuous examination of obligations under trade agreements and China's compliance with the requirements of the World Trade Organization. Issues such as capacity subsidization, technical restrictions, non-market-based industrial policies, intellectual property rights violations and other non-tariff barriers should be addressed by the U.S. government in a serious and swift manner. In addition, SPI recognizes that the inevitable changing pace of today's global marketplace requires adapting to new business environments. To deal with these changes, SPI supports a level-playing field that allows the United States to counter market-distorting trade practices through internationally recognized U.S. trade laws.
- Currency Issues: SPI believes that certain trading partners are manipulating their currencies to maintain and grow their export advantage over the United States. Therefore, SPI urges the Administration to address this issue forcefully through formal complaints and other actions as permitted by applicable treaties to which the United States is a signatory.
- Pursuit of Market-Opening Agreements that Lower Trade Barriers Worldwide: SPI strongly urges continuous and aggressive negotiations to promote market-driven trade by reducing tariff and non-tariff trade barriers worldwide. SPI supports a comprehensive approach to reducing and eliminating trade barriers. Such improved trade policies will enhance the U.S. plastics industry's ability to grow exports, seek procurement options that ensure competitiveness and expand foreign direct investment opportunities.
Approved by the SPI Board of Directors, January 16, 2004