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CEA, Other Groups, Write Free-Trade Letter To D.C.

ARLINGTON, VA. — Fourteen leading technology policy trade associations, including the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), today sent an open letter to President Bush and Congressional leaders urging quick action to pass pending free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

In response to this letter, Gary Shapiro, president/CEO of CEA, said, “This letter, which brings together an unprecedented group of technology associations, demonstrates that the technology industry has made passage of these pending free-trade agreements a top priority. The tech industry is pulling the economy and we need our political leaders to know that the passage of the Columbia, Panama and South Korea free-trade agreements is important to our workers, our industry and our national competitiveness.”

The letter argues that passage of these agreements “will level the playing field for American workers by removing tariffs from U.S. goods and barriers to services.” As to specific pending trade agreements in Columbia and South Korea, the letter points out: Columbian goods “already enter the United States duty free” while U.S. goods face “significant duties” when trying to access the 44 million consumers in this fast-growing economy, and the Columbian agreement would “ensure the implementation of strong and enforceable provisions protecting the environment and workers’ rights.”

The South Korean free-trade agreement, concluded over a year ago, would provide U.S. manufacturers and service providers access to this $1 trillion economy without tariff and non-tariff barriers that exist today.

For more information on the Consumer Electronics Association’s efforts in support of free trade, visit