Alliance's Preeg: Proceed With Manufacturing Free Trade

By John S. McClenahen When U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick and his counterparts from more than 100 other nations meet in Cancun, Mexico, Sept. 10-15 one of the topics on the table will the U.S. proposal to eliminate remaining tariffs on manufactured goods by 2015. Although it's far from certain that the proposal will emerge as the centerpiece of the current global round of World Trade Organization negotiations, that prospect has the strong endorsement of Ernest H. Preeg, senior fellow in trade and productivity at the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, an Arlington, Va.-based economic and public-policy group. Preeg figures that consolidating the growing number of bilateral and regional free-trade agreements in a multilateral pact would add $2 trillion per year to global GDP. "There would be unprecedented gains from trade from such an agreement because the manufacturing sector is the 'engine for growth' within the U.S. and global economies," Preeg asserts in a new book, "From Here to Free Trade in Manufacturers: Why and How" (2003, Institute for Technological Advancement).

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