In April, INDA and EDANA decided to form a joint International Trade & Trends Advisory Board with the objective of promoting the free and fair trade of nonwovens globally, starting by taking an active role in the recently launched TTIP talks. If successful, the TTIP will create the world’s largest free trade area and generate more than $5 trillion in trade, investment and sales. It will also provide the ideal stage to eliminate unfair tariff imbalances and non-tariff barriers that have hindered the growth of nonwoven fabrics industry between the two trading partners.
More recently, both INDA and EDANA have provided submissions to their respective trade officials outlining the U.S. and European nonwovens industries' key objectives for these important talks. In addition to calling for the fast-track elimination of EU duties on nonwoven roll goods, the associations have urged negotiators to guarantee mutually ambitious tariff phase-out obligations on a wide range of nonwoven products.
The associations have also asked trade officials to protect the innovation, technological change and product development that are vital to the nonwovens industry by including equally stringent intellectual property protections in the pact. Finally, they have asked negotiators to include regulatory provisions that remove unnecessary barriers to growth, promote transparency, and dialogue while at the same time allowing U.S. and EU governments to retain sovereignty to tailor regulations to suit the needs of their people.
“At the heart of our service is the commitment to free and fair trade for our member companies, and EDANA and INDA have a strong history in advocating for the elimination of tariffs. Trade between our two regions represents a significant share of nonwovens global economy, and the TTIP would deliver benefits to our member companies, who both employ large numbers of employees directly, and also support business across a range of industries and levels of the supply chain. We hope the renewed efforts of the EU and U.S. will deliver effective measures to support free and fair trade and prompt other trading partners to move in the same direction," says Pierre Wiertz, general manager of EDANA.
"The EU is a dynamic economy and critical import/export market and trading partner for the U.S. nonwovens industry. INDA is pleased to be able to work so closely with EDANA to coordinate our objectives to make sure the TTIP achieves the full extent of its ambitions," says Dave Rousse, INDA president.