Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA) recently testified before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on the “Economic Impact of Trade Agreements Implemented Under Trade Authorities Procedures, 2021 Report.” The testimony focused on encouraging ITC to adopt the Rules of Origin from the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in future free trade agreements (FTAs), as well as additional barriers to trade and growth of the specialty chemicals industry.
“USMCA has drastically improved conditions for specialty chemical manufacturers and SOCMA members, who have found benefit from the modernized chemicals rules of origin,” said Robert F. Helminiak, SOCMA’s vice president for Legal & Government Relations. “We encourage USITC to maintain these standards in future trade agreements.”
SOCMA also stressed the significant impact non-tariff barriers to trade can have on the specialty chemical industry, specifically citing international chemical regulations such as the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). Helminiak urged the commission and Congress to seek alignment through regulatory cooperation and transparency in future FTAs. Helminiak also cited the benefits already reaped from the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals and suggested that synchronization lowers barriers to entry and potentially opens new markets to the U.S. specialty chemicals industry.