Fri July 7, 2017

Industry’s three major trade groups—PLASTICS, CPIA and ANIPAC—announce list of priorities for plastics in upcoming negotiations

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO—After a summit that convened the leadership of North America’s three leading plastics industry trade groups—Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) and Asociación Nacional de Industrias del Plástico A.C. (ANIPAC)—the North American plastics industry outlined a unified platform of policy priorities for the forthcoming modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that will strengthen each nation’s plastics industry.

“Our three organizations stand unified in wanting to support the growth and development of our industry across North America,” said PLASTICS President & CEO William R. Carteaux. “Plastics are the proven sustainable material of choice for an infinite array of applications throughout North America, and the world at large. Strengthening NAFTA will enable us to work together to develop new solutions to our world’s environmental challenges while also benefiting the millions of workers in the three NAFTA member nations.”

“North America has become the world’s leading continental player when it comes to energy,” said CPIA President & CEO Carol Hochu. “Since plastics are so tightly entwined with our partners in the energy sector, it makes sense for North America to be the world’s leader in plastics and plastics manufacturing as well, and focusing on the policy priorities we’ve outlined today will be a strong step in that direction. What helps us, helps benefit workers, families and the environment.”

“The growth in the North American plastics market since NAFTA first took effect 25 years ago is undeniably impressive, but so much has changed since then,” said ANIPAC President Juan Antonio Hernández. “With the modernization, we now have an opportunity to take things into overdrive, advancing innovation while growing all three of our economies and building a stronger trade relationship that will benefit the whole world.”

The leadership from the three organizations agreed on several specific areas of focus for trade negotiators when they begin their work on NAFTA later this year. Together, the North American plastics industry will advocate for:

  • Continued support of the growth and development of the North American plastics industry.
    • Since NAFTA took effect, its member nations’ plastics industries have grown immensely. Broadly, each organization supports efforts to promote this growth.
  • Harmonization of regulations of all types as they affect the industry.
    • For example, aligning regulations on food packaging that are different would make it easier for smaller companies to expand their business across borders without having to worry about a new compliance burden. Another example would be a continent-wide harmonization of the treatment of plastics as sustainable materials, for the purposes of government procurement and other areas. Adjusting NAFTA to facilitate enhanced sustainability efforts throughout the industry in North America is a key goal for all three nations.
  • A review of the Rules of Origin (ROO).
    • We endorse a review of the Rules of Origin and their enforcement under NAFTA as they impact everything from raw plastic materials all the way through finished products containing plastic.
  • A simplification and modernization of trade and customs documentation.
    • As policymakers enacted NAFTA before the age of digital commerce, its lack of provisions pertaining to digital commerce are a perennial weakness in the agreement as it currently stands. The ability to access and file customs documentation and other paperwork necessary to conduct legal trade between the three nations should be modernized to provide for digital or online transmission.
  • Ease of employee access throughout the continent.
    • Employees of plastics companies, particularly those that sell and service manufacturing machinery, should be more able to travel and work throughout the NAFTA member nations. Certain requirements make it costly for businesses to send employees to other countries to provide their services, and these should be adjusted or eliminated.
  • No new tariffs.
    • ​​​​​​​The absence of tariffs is what’s made NAFTA so successful for all three member nations’ plastics industries over the last 25 years. The North American plastics industry is united in its opposition to any new tariffs that would have a profoundly negative impact on all three nations and their workers.
  • Continued labor cost flexibility between the three nations.
    • ​​​​​​​​​The diversity of labor costs in North America provides immense benefits to our industries, and allows each of them to be competitive globally and to play to the strengths of each individual country’s plastics industry. We would oppose attempts to restrict the choices manufacturers have when it comes to where and how they make their products.

PLASTICS, CPIA and ANIPAC will continue to work together throughout the NAFTA renegotiation process.

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About the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS)

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), formerly SPI, is the only organization that supports the entire plastics supply chain, representing nearly one million workers in the $418 billion U.S. industry. Since 1937, PLASTICS has been working to make its members and the industry more globally competitive while advancing recycling and sustainability. To learn more about PLASTICS’ education initiatives, industry-leading insights and events, networking opportunities and policy advocacy, and North America’s largest plastics trade show, NPE: The Plastics Show, visit plasticsindustry.org. Connect with PLASTICS on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

About the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA)

Since 1943, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association has proudly served as the national voice and leader for plastics industry sustainability across Canada, representing the interests of the plastics value chain including resin and raw material suppliers, processors/converters, equipment suppliers, recyclers and brand owners. Visit www.plastics.ca for more information.

About ANIPAC

ANIPAC is the voice of the plastics industry in Mexico. Since 1961, ANIPAC has been the most important organization in the sector representing the entire supply chain including producers and distributors of raw materials, recyclers, manufacturers and distributors of machinery and equipment, and transformers of plastic in all its forms. ANIPAC’s mission is to promote the comprehensive development of the plastics production chain, generating benefits for its members and ensuring their global competitiveness.