Manufacturers Support U.S.-Malaysia Free-Trade Talks

The Bush Administration's Mar. 8 announcement that it will begin free-trade negotiations with Malaysia, the U.S.'s tenth largest trading partner, immediately drew strong support from the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

"Coming on the heels of last month's announcement of FTA [free-trade agreement] talks with [South] Korea, U.S. manufacturers are now hopeful that our exports to the Asian market will benefit from a solid one-two punch," said John Engler, NAM's president. Engler said Malaysia's tariffs were currently a major barrier to U.S. exports, but, he added, "the country's rapid economic growth means our exports could more than double by 2010 to about $22 billion if those barriers were eliminated."

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