The first statement, ITAB Support for All U.S. Free Trade Agreements, was developed in response to the recent proliferation of bilateral and regional U.S. free trade pacts. The position statement outlines three key elements that the ITAB will look for when determining whether it will lend its support to any proposed free trade agreement that involves the U.S. The necessary elements, as outlined in the position statement, include: 1) ambitious market access obligations; 2) industry appropriate rules of origin and 3) stringent intellectual property standards.
The second position statement, Implications of Any New Country’s Entry into the WTO, outlines the ITAB’s response to growing membership in the World Trade Organization. The WTO is reportedly on the verge of admitting its 149th member country, Saudi Arabia, and 30 other countries are actively trying to join. “The ITAB wholeheartedly supports efforts to expand the multilateral trading system,” said ITAB Chairman Gonzalo Castro with CardinalHealth. “Our only concern is that prospective members are held to the same level of commitment with regards to things such as market access, rule of law and intellectual property rights that is expected of the U.S. and other existing members.”
The document explains the ITAB’s plan to serve as a conduit between the nonwoven fabrics industry and U.S. officials to communicate any potential concerns about the conduct of prospective WTO members.
Previously-adopted ITAB position statements include: Imbalances in International Fair Trade of Nonwovens; Rules of Origin; Intellectual Property Rights; WTO Negotiations and ITAB Cooperation with other Industry Groups. For copies of ITAB position statements, contact Jessica Franken, firstname.lastname@example.org; 703-538-8805.