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SOCMA Welcomes Start Of US-EU Free Trade Negotiations

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) tonight welcomed President Obama's announcement during his State of the Union address that the U.S. and the European Union (EU) will begin free trade negotiations.

"Trade agreements provide U.S. chemical manufacturers greater access to the world's consumers and positively contribute to the growth of the U.S. economy," said Lawrence D. Sloan, President and CEO. "Such agreements support domestic manufacturing jobs by offering access for our competitive, innovative products."

The U.S. chemical industry stands to benefit the most from an U.S.-EU FTA. In 2011, the industry paid more than $1 billion in tariffs to export to the EU, according to Bloomberg Government. Organic chemical manufacturers account for $600 million of that total.

Sloan said SOCMA will soon announce recommendations to help address non-tariff barriers, such as REACH - the EU's regulatory system for chemicals.

"Specialty chemical manufacturers are well-positioned to influence an agreement with the EU because of SOCMA's well-established relationships with U.S. trade agencies and through our unique experiences with REACH," Sloan said.

Signing new free trade agreements is a major tenet of SOCMA's "First 100 Days" initiative, an education and advocacy strategy that emphasizes the need for policies that support competitiveness and market expansion for specialty chemical manufacturing.

About SOCMA

SOCMA is the only U.S.-based trade association dedicated solely to the specialty chemical industry. Since 1921, we have represented a diverse membership of small, medium and large chemical companies, making us the leading authority on this sector. SOCMA has a global membership of 220 companies, which employ more than 46,000 workers in the U.S. alone. The value of the products and services provided by SOCMA members is $24 billion. To learn more, visit www.SpecialtyManufacturing.org .

ChemStewards® is SOCMA's flagship environmental, health, safety and security (EHS&S) continuous performance improvement program. ChemStewards was created from industry's commitment to reducing our environmental footprint. Industry created ChemStewards to meet the unique needs of the batch, custom and specialty chemical industry. As a mandatory requirement for SOCMA members engaged in the manufacturing or handling of chemicals, ChemStewards is helping participants reach for superior EHS&S performance. To learn more visit www.chemstewards.com .

Contact: Christine SanchezSenior Manager, PR & Media (202) 721-4182 sanchezc@socma.com

SOURCE Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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