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PCPC: Obama's push for free trade legislation will help international trade for cosmetics

By Andrew McDougall, 11-Oct-2011

Related topics: Regulation & Safety

The Personal Care Product Council has announced its support of President Obama's decision to send the Colombia, Korea and Panama free trade agreements to Congress, stating the importance of international trade in the cosmetics industry.

The legislation is yet to be passed by Congress but has the backing of the PCPC, and the president himself, following the four years it has taken to get this far, after the pacts were originally agreed with former White House leader George W. Bush.

We’ve worked hard to strengthen these agreements to get the best possible deal for American workers and businesses,” Obama said in a statement, before urging Congress to pass them without delay.

Important for industry

Francine Lamoriello, executive vice president of global strategies at PCPC, backed the President's statement, urging Congress to pass the agreements as soon as possible.

As a truly global industry, cosmetic and personal care product companies are dependent on open markets and transparent, consistent regulatory environments around the world,” said Lamoriello.

International trade is a key component to the cosmetics industry as it significantly contributes to the industry's ability to expand manufacturing and employment, and support other industries such as advertising, packaging, and transportation.

Our member companies strive to uphold and surpass the most stringent regulatory and product standards worldwide and are committed to providing consumers with safe, innovative and high quality cosmetic and personal care products, the ingredients for which are globally sourced,” continued Lamoriello.

Three key regions

The three agreements all hold large potential for US personal care companies who are active at different levels in each region, and if passed, will see exports from North America-based companies receive duty free access after ten years, in South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

South Korea is one of the top destinations for US personal care products according to PCPC, with exports of personal care products to South Korea last year worth more than $230m. Under the fair trade agreement, as well as the ten year agreement, 23.5 percent of exported products will receive duty free access immediately.

PCPC identifies Colombia as a fast growing economy that has great potential for US personal care companies as exports to Colombia last year reached $73.1m. If the agreement is passed then more than 43 percent of current exports will receive duty free access immediately.

In 2010, Panama received $54m worth of US personal care products and more than 71 percent of those products will receive duty free access immediately. With South Korea and Colombia, as previously mentioned, this will rise to 100 percent after ten years.