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April 12, 2005

USA: Industry group calls on Congress to pass trade deal

US food industry lobby group Grocery Manufacturers of America has called on Congress to pass the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement.

US food industry lobby group Grocery Manufacturers of America has called on Congress to pass the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement.

“Passage of CAFTA-DR will benefit the entire food and agriculture industry, and GMA urges Congress to give this trade agreement its full support,” said president and CEO Manly Molpus.

“This agreement represents an important opportunity to increase US exports of processed foods and consumer products to the six CAFTA-DR countries,” he said. “Now is the time to create an equal trading partnership. Currently, these countries impose tariffs as high as 66% on imported packaged foods. Meanwhile, the US charges no tariffs for the vast majority of products imported to the United States from CAFTA-DR countries.”

“Congress should pass CAFTA-DR as is” he said. “This is a comprehensive agreement that demonstrates the US government’s commitment to free trade in all products and services.”

According to GMA sponsored research the deal would mean savings of nearly $8.8m in the first year of the agreement from tariff reductions and increased quotas alone for the US food and beverage industry. It would increase the industry’s export sales to the CAFTA-DR countries from $359m to $662m when the agreement is fully implemented and expand access to key food ingredient imports, such as peanuts and sugar.

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