October 16, 2013
Plastics industry leaders from the United States and the European Union on Oct. 15 made a presentation to members of the European Parliament describing their industry's many contributions toward improving quality of life, sustainability and the environment.
The event was held against the backdrop of the ongoing negotiations surrounding the U.S.-E.U. free trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
"There has always been a strong economic case for a transatlantic trade deal," said Michael Taylor, senior director, international affairs and trade for the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. "But at this point in time the argument in favor is even more compelling.
"While it is true that the U.S. plastics industry stands to benefit greatly from improved market access to Europe, SPI member companies are very focused on the millions of dollars that can be saved by achieving regulatory coherence and mutual recognition of standards. This will lower the bar for market entry for both the E.U. and the U.S."
The presentation to the EU parliament was co-organized by SPI, Amcham Belgium (the American chamber of commerce in Belgium) and Assocomaplast (the Italian plastics and rubber processing, machinery and molds manufacturing association).
Taylor added that "a significant part of what SPI does on a regular basis is educational. Supporting our European colleagues at an event in the European parliament, where we can speak about the positive contribution of the plastics industry to those who shape policy in the European Union, is a major opportunity.
"It is vitally important that everyone be aware of how plastics improve the quality of life, from safe and efficient packaging to life-saving and life-sustaining medical devices."