The President endorsed a trade pact during his State of the Union address, answering pleas from European leaders desperate for a way to speed up economic growth; signalling the green light that proponents of a trade deal had been hoping for.
“I’m announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union,” said Obama said. “Because trade that is fair and free across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.”
At present domestic regulations often act as barriers to trade and add additional cost to traded goods and services; so such non-tariff barriers are particularly prevalent in the cosmetics, chemical, and other industries.
The idea of such a deal is nothing new. The last time the EU and the U.S. contemplated negotiating a far-reaching trade agreement was six years ago, and they eventually decided to create the Transatlantic Economic Council instead.
The latest announcement has obviously attracted major attention on both sides of the pond, and the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) are one of the associations to welcome the news.
"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," commented Lawrence D. Sloan, president and CEO.
"Such agreements support domestic manufacturing jobs by offering access for our competitive, innovative products."
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," he added.