NAM pushes for bipartisan trade deal

By Plant Engineering Staff March 30, 2007

Following discussions between Congress and the United States Trade Representative on the U.S. trade agenda, Frank Vargo, the National Association of Manufacturers ’ vice president of international economic affairs, issued the following statement Tuesday:

“The NAM understands that today’s release of the Democrats’ trade policy is part of the process of reaching a compromise. We want to see a compromise that works on a bipartisan basis, works for the administration, and most importantly works for America’s manufacturers, farmers, and services providers. Time is short, and we hope that the ongoing bipartisan effort moves quickly.

“Taking particular note of the Democrats’ reference to the hard-hit manufacturing sector, we want to point out that whether measured by the value of factory shipments or the manufacturing production index, U.S. manufacturing is at an all-time high.

“One of the best things that can be done for American manufacturing is more trade agreements, which have helped lead to last year’s 14% growth in U.S. manufactured goods exports.

“Our free trade partners account for close to half of our exports, but only six percent of our manufactured goods deficit. While we want to help find a compromise that works for everyone, we can’t take our eye off the ball. We need to cut foreign barriers to our exports, and more trade agreements are the only way to do that.”

A graph illustrating the benefits of free trade agreements to the manufacturing goods trade balance is available at: