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May 1, 2009

The Council Comments on NAFTA Agreement

The Personal Care Products Council is urging the U.S. Administration to work with Congress to resolve differences with Mexico on cross border trucking commitments negotiated under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In particular, the Administration and Congress should seek to immediately eliminate the 15% tariffs recently imposed by Mexico on U.S. manufactured products, specifically personal care products, according to Francine Lamoriello, executive vice president of global strategies, The Council.

“As a global industry, our member companies strongly support free trade and depend on open borders to manufacture, supply, distribute and market a broad array of personal care products that consumers around the world use every day.

“Our members include manufacturers of finished products, suppliers of raw materials and the ingredients that go into those products, packaging and other industry services,” she said in a media statement.

According to Ms. Lamoriello, Mexico’s recently imposed tariffs “affect virtually all personal care products including makeup and skin care, manicure and pedicure preparations, shaving-related goods, hair care and oral care products, deodorants and antiperspirants.”

She also noted that in 2008, the value of exports to Mexico, the third largest export market for U.S. personal care behind Canada and the United Kingdom, was more than $300 million.

“The Council is actively engaged with the foreign industry associations, foreign governments, and the U.S. Government to advocate free trade policies and resist technical barriers that would hinder international product development and marketing, and would result in jobs lost at home and abroad. We encourage a speedy resolution,” she concluded.

SOCMA Outlines Tenets for TSCA Reform

Amid renewed debate over the effectiveness of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) released its official position on the decades-old statute, denouncing a complete overhaul as overly burdensome to its core membership of small and medium-sized businesses.

“SOCMA’s stance on TSCA provides a unique contribution to the discussion waging on Capitol Hill,” said SOCMA president Joseph Acker.

“While we fully recognize TSCA’s shortcomings, we urge critics to carefully examine how it could be improved and better implemented without disturbing the delicate balance between protection of human health and the environment, and sustainment of a vital industry and its customers,” he added.

Specifically, SOCMA is pressing lawmakers to reexamine the important role of the Chemical Assessment and Management Program (ChAMP) and other statutes that regulate chemicals as it assesses whether better use of existing authorities could meet their goals.

Mr. Acker stressed that any evaluation of TSCA must recognize that the chemical industry’s innovation has played an integral role in the U.S. economy, and that sweeping revisions could prove highly detrimental to Americans’ way of life.

A complete overhaul, as proposed by the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act, could also delay the introduction of new products and slow offshore manufacturing. SOCMA’s position on TSCA reform outlines several increasingly prominent issues, including the importance of reporting potential exposures to children to EPA, and the agency’s unique data collection avenues absent mandatory up-front reporting requirements, such as the publicly available data that will be generated from REACH compliance efforts.

SOCMA has repeatedly urged Congress to carefully examine TSCA and ChAMP before considering revision of these statutes, as it did most recently during testimony.

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