Washington DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today joined other leading business and non-governmental organizations in urging Congress and the Administration to reform and renew U.S. trade preference programs for developing countries. In a letter sent to the U.S. Trade Representative and the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, the organizations outlined suggestions for preference reform.
“Trade preference programs play a significant role in promoting economic growth and development both at home and abroad. These programs provide tangible economic opportunities for the citizens of developing countries, and it is in our national interest to pursue policies that help reduce poverty among the world’s poorest populations,” said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. “Preference reform coupled with the successful conclusion of the Doha Round will help stimulate the global economy and deliver significant benefits to developed and developing countries.”
“To help counter the negative impact of the global economic downturn on developing countries, it is imperative for Congress and the Administration to seek timely renewal of expiring trade preference programs,” said NFTC Vice President for Regional Trade Initiatives Chuck Dittrich. “The United States should not stop there, however. We urge policymakers to go a step further to reform trade preference programs to ensure their effectiveness in delivering benefits and addressing unmet needs. Doing so will not only benefit less developed countries, but will also help U.S. companies and workers to remain competitive by decreasing the cost of needed manufacturing and other inputs.”
In addition to the NFTC, the letter was signed by 28 other organizations, including Bread for the World, Business Roundtable, the Corporate Council on Africa, the National Retail Federation, Oxfam America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The letter included a Joint Proposal for U.S. Preference Program Reform, which called for the establishment of legislation with the following elements:
To read the full letter, click here.
About the NFTC
Advancing Global Commerce for 95 Years – The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.