NPES and VDMA Sign Joint Declaration in Support of Transatlantic Trade, Investment Partnership
RESTON, VA—December 22, 2014—NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies and VDMA Printing and Paper Technology, part of the German Engineering Federation, the largest association representing the capital goods industry in Europe, have signed a joint declaration endorsing the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Co-signed by NPES President Ralph Nappi and Markus Heering, managing director of VDMA Printing and Paper Technology, the declaration was delivered on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2014, to EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman through their respective representatives.
Following the signing of the declaration Nappi and Heering met with key U.S. government and private sector leaders in Washington, DC, to underscore the value of TTIP to their respective national industries and urge its ratification by the U.S. Congress.
Specifically, the declaration was presented to Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Manufacturing Chandra Brown, and Bryant Trick, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative, each representing the executive branch of the federal government that is negotiating TTIP.
Following the meeting with DOC and USTR officials the NPES and VDMA representatives took their message to Capitol Hill and met with Angela Ellard, staff director/chief counsel, Subcommittee on Trade, House Committee on Ways and Means, a key congressional committee with jurisdiction over trade agreements. They also met with Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, the largest U.S. private sector association of manufacturing companies and trade associations. In both cases, the declaration was again received with very favorable comments, especially with respect to its focus and specificity of content and purpose.
The two associations that, in sum, represent 730 small-, medium- and large-sized businesses and a total revenue reaching tens of billions, agreed in talks over recent months to produce the joint declaration that calls for the elimination of trade barriers to boost the exchange of goods. The document specifically calls for: the complete elimination of tariffs; business-friendly rules of origin; encouragement of cooperation and transparency in standards development; mutual recognition of conformity assessment procedures; accreditation according to internationally recognized rules; and, transparency and harmonization of intellectual property rights.
"For us, the United States is an important market," stated Heering, in Washington DC, during the joint declaration signing. In 2013, American suppliers delivered machines and plants worth €246 million to countries belonging to the EU-28, a quarter of it to Germany. In return, European producers exported printing and paper technology of about €1 billion to the USA. Of these producers, 44 percent were German.
"No matter what the outcome of TTIP, we have already achieved much," Heering noted about the productive dialogue in recent months between the associations. "This constructive atmosphere will facilitate further negotiations concerning standards, norms, and the mutual recognition of certification and product testing."
Nappi also noted, "The passage of TTIP has been stalled by broader trade issues outside the machinery sector but NPES believes it is important to focus on the many areas of agreement. The printing equipment industries on both sides of the Atlantic are leading the way to position TTIP as a top priority for 2015 in both Washington, DC, and Brussels."
According to NPES Government Affairs Director Mark Nuzzaco who was also present, "the transatlantic effort by NPES and VDMA was very well received as a concrete example of how trade deals like TTIP can bring national industry sectors together even before the agreements are completed, and an excellent model for other industries to emulate in building momentum for the successful completion and ratification of TTIP."
NPES is a U.S. trade association representing more than 600 companies that manufacture and distribute equipment, software and supplies used across the workflow of printing, publishing and converting process. NPES is a co-sponsor of the global PRINT exhibition, and GRAPH EXPO—the largest and most comprehensive exhibition in the Americas of inkjet, digital, offset, flexo, gravure and hybrid technologies, products, and services for the commercial, transactional, converting and package printing, publishing, mailing, in-plant, photo imaging, marketing and industrial printing industries.
VDMA represents over 3,000 member companies in the engineering industry, making it one of the largest and most important industrial associations in Europe. VDMA covers the entire process chain—everything from components and plant manufacturers, system suppliers and system integrators through to service providers—reflecting the varied customer-supplier relations all along the value adding chain, permitting both industry-specific and intra-industry cooperation. VDMA lends a powerful voice to its members both on the national and international levels with current representation focal points including: labor market and pay policy/deregulation; education policy/attracting new generations; tax policy; research/technology policy; corporate financing; trade policy; environment and energy policy; and trade fairs/trade fair policy.