President Bush Addresses the Pending Free Trade Agreements at the White House Press Conference on September 20. White House photo.

President Bush Addresses the Pending Free Trade Agreements at White House Press Conference on September 20. White House photo

 

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Federal Trade Agreements

While responding to questions from the White House press corps on September 20th, President Bush defended the economic benefits of free trade. He urged members of Congress to support the pending Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and cautioned against a rising protectionist sentiment, declaring that lowering trade barriers would alleviate poverty around the world. The following examples are from Peru, a country which is currently pending a trade agreement. For more information, please also visit http://www.tradeagreements.gov.

Agricultural Sciences (AgSci) is a Dallas-based manufacturer of soil additives that are used to help improve soil for agriculture. Derived from natural plant extracts, the products are used by natural and conventional farmers and growers alike. AgSci recently contacted the Commercial Service's North Texas U.S. Export Assistance Center, where it received export counseling that helped the firm expand its market in Peru. AgSci CEO Kim Sinks, who oversees the three-person firm, says "the company will now be able to take advantage of product testing and development success, and that a Peru FTA would improve our competitive position in the market by leveling the playing field with international competitors in the region."

Polyguard Products, Inc., of Ennis, TX , specializes in products used to protect structures from moisture and corrosion, including pipeline coatings and anti-corrosion systems, duct waterproofing, tile and roofing underlayments and window flashing systems. With help from the Commercial Service's North Texas U.S. Export Assistance Center and overseas offices, Mr. Nathan Muncaster, the firm's Global Business Development Manager, continues to sell internationally, but says Polyguard would sell even more with new free trade agreements. “Our initial entry into western South America has been very strong and led to significant returns, including the Peru market. However, the global marketplace is never standing still, because other nations are busy promoting their own industrial growth. For U.S. companies like ours, a Peru FTA would enhance business competitiveness and allow us to benefit from increased exposure and overseas sales."

PAI Industries is a Suwanee, Georgia, manufacturer of truck parts. With help from the U.S. Commercial Service's Atlanta U.S. Export Assistance Center and international trade shows, the firm has been selling to Peru since 2001. Mr. Kin Baker, International Sales Manager, says the firm's export sales to Peru have increased from $18,000 annually to $383,000 last year. "With a Peru FTA, our company will see even more opportunity, as it will be much easier for our distributors to import parts to repair American trucks in the market." Baker says. "The FTA will also level the playing field and allow us to better compete with countries such as Brazil and Colombia, who already have trade deals with Peru, and are supplying truck equipment."

Coker International, LLC, is a Greenville, SC, supplier of new and refurbished textile machinery. With assistance from the U.S. Commercial Service's Greenville export assistance center, Coker has made new sales abroad, including substantial sales to Peru. Chip Coker, the firm's President and CEO, says Peru is becoming an increasingly important market for his firm, but that an FTA "would remove trade barriers, and allow us to bolster our existing sales and compete more directly with other competitors in the region."

With its network of offices across the United States and in more than 80 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. For more information, visit www.Export.gov; for more information on FTAs, please visit http://www.tradeagreements.gov.


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