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CEA Kicks Off Free Trade Bus Tour At J&R

New York — The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) kicked off its 30-city “America Wins with Trade” bus tour this afternoon at J&R Music and Computer World here in lower Manhattan.

On hand for the event were CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro, J&R principal Rachelle Friedman, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other dignitaries.

The tour’s intention is to focus attention on the importance of free trade to American companies and workers, and to counter the growing perception that foreign trade is a threat to the U.S. economy, CEA said.

“Trade … is essential to preserving America’s prosperity and way of life,” Shapiro noted. “The facts demonstrate that trade creates millions of American jobs and provides billions of dollars to our economy.”

Shapiro cited the domestic and global success of the CE industry as proof of free trade’s benefits. About 616,000 industry jobs in the United States are directly tied to America’s trade overseas, the trade group noted.

Shapiro told a crowd of reporters and spectators that it was fitting to start the 28-state tour in the nation’s financial capital, which represents the power of trade and free markets, and described J&R as a “great American company” that has flourished for 37 years.

The next stop on the bus tour is Washington, D.C., for a July 24 pro-trade rally and press conference on Capitol Hill.