The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) issued a statement to support a recently introduced bill intended to help the federal government deal with market-access barriers more effectively. The bill, HR 3112, the Trade Law Enforcement Act, was introduced by Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH) on Oct. 6, 2011. The bill would formalize the process by which the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) acts on market-access barriers that are deemed unlawful under US trade agreements.
“This bill elevates a process already in place for companies to report the unfair practices they are experiencing for investigation,” said SOCMA in a Nov. 3, 2011, press statement. “Formalizing the process allows companies to understand the resources that exist within the government, which often they do not know exist. In a time when businesses are looking more at new opportunities to export abroad to growing markets, having a resource such as this to ensure that companies can take full advantage of opportunities and agreements we have in place is extremely important.”
Under current law, the USTR has the ability to respond to various trade practices deemed unfair, including market-access problems caused by nontariff barriers. SOCMA says that while US manufacturers can petition the USTR to take action, they seldom do, partly because of the cost of compiling an adequate petition and the uncertainty of getting timely relief.
SOCMA is urging other members of Congress to show their support for the legislation. SOCMA is the US-based trade association representing custom and batch manufacturers, including producers of fine chemicals, pharmaceutical intermediates, and APIs.