U.S. Business Backing Singapore, Chile Free-Trade Pacts

By John S. McClenahen In addition to lobbying Congress on tax and domestic economic issues, U.S. manufacturers will be busy during the next few months pushing for passage of recently completed free-trade agreements between the U.S. and Singapore and the U.S. and Chile. "We are convinced that the trade pact negotiated with Singapore contains cutting-edge, state-of-the-art provisions in areas of important to U.S. manufacturing," says Jerry J. Jasinowski, president of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Washington, D.C. Specifically, Jasinowski believes that the agreement, reached in mid-December, will protect more than $24 billion worth of U.S. investment in Singapore and improve intellectual property protection. Meanwhile, the NAM is joining with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, also based in Washington, D.C., to win congressional approval for a U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement, also concluded in December. The U.S.-Chile Free Trade Coalition, for which NAM and the U.S. Chamber are providing staff support, is slated to launch its campaign for congressional approval on Jan. 29.

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