Manufacturers launch coalition to stem tide of growing trade barriers

Manufacturers launch coalition to stem tide of growing trade barriers
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The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is launching an coalition with 13 other trade associations to address a growing wave of activities at global institutions the groups argue are undermining U.S. manufacturing and jobs.

The new group called the Engaging America’s Global Leadership (EAGL) Coalition plans to confront the problem cropping up across international groups such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

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"Several of these institutions are increasingly engaged in a wide range of activities, from misguided policy proposals based on bad science and resolutions supporting discriminatory price controls to recommendations that would undermine innovation and jobs in manufacturing here in the United States and beyond," Linda Dempsey, vice president for international economic affairs at NAM, wrote in a blog post.

"Many of these initiatives are out of step with the core missions of these institutions, have not been developed in a manner transparent or accountable to all stakeholders, and are not based on good regulatory practice or sound science," she said. 

Dempsey told The Hill that the problem has been growing over the past five years and that NAM has been hearing more examples of problems from their membership, especially over the past nine months. 

"The growing concern is that these groups are putting together trade and regulatory rules without a trade apparatus where governments are actually involved," Dempsey said.

She said the initiatives "are being used to pressure national governments to adopt specific policies and recommendations that harm manufacturers in the United States and the high-paying jobs U.S. manufacturing creates."

"It’s a very serious growth threat to manufacturing and jobs,” she said.

Led by the NAM, and members include BIO, CropLife, International Dairy Foods Association, PhRMA and the Plastics Industry Association.

The coalition is working with Congress and the White House to “elevate U.S. leadership in a coordinated fashion."

"America’s diplomats and government officials both in the administration and Congress must stand up for manufacturing through smart engagement and leadership within these international organizations that holds them accountable and drives progress and reforms that make a difference," Dempsey said.