SPI Asks Lawmakers to Help US Plastics Industry Compete - Brief Article

SPI Asks Lawmakers to Help US Plastics Industry Compete - Brief ArticleWASHINGTON, DC - The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. (SPI) is spearheading a petition to Congress and the Bush Administration seeking policy changes that will help the industry remain viable in today's global market.

SPI reports plastics processing is the nation's fourth largest manufacturing sector, providing 1.5 million jobs and contributing more than $320 billion in annual shipments. However, an $894 million trade surplus has fallen to a $1.4 million trade deficit in just two years, says SPI, due in part to a weakened economy and deleterious domestic and international trade policies that have forced processors out of business or offshore.

The petition calls for six specific measures:

*Continuous and aggressive negotiations to promote free and fair trade worldwide and to ensure US trading partners, including China, live up to their obligations under the World Trade Organization;

*Energy initiatives that provide reliable sources of, and reasonable costs for, power for plastics manufacturing;

*US tax policies that encourage capital investment and manufacturing growth in the US;

*Tort reform that puts an end to frivolous lawsuits that impede job-creating investments;

*Sensible and meaningful insurance reform that allows employers to provide critical medical or other insurance to employees in a cost-effective manner;

*Implementation of a regulatory regime based on sound science that also protects our workers and the environment.

SPI kicked off the campaign for signatures during NPE 2003 in Chicago, IL, June 23-27. For an electronic version of the petition.