MJSA Members Confer on Trade Issue

April 22, 1999

MJSA Members Confer on Trade Issues

Jewelry manufacturers are speaking up in support of an international trade proposal to reduce trade barriers for nine major industries, including jewelry.

James Marquart, president and CEO of the Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America, headed up a panel in Washington, DC, April 13 that offered input to the U.S. Department of Commerce on a Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation proposal to tackle non-tariff trade barriers. Specifically, the panel discussed the changes needed in China's trade policies before it is allowed into the World Trade Organization.

"One of the issues is gold licensing. You can't sell gold without a license in China, and policies such as this keep American products out of the market," says John Harvey of MJSA. Through MJSA's efforts, China agreed to implement an APEC initiative that would eliminate tariffs on gems and jewelry once the initiative is agreed upon by the WTO later this year.

The panel was made up of members of the Industry Sector Advisory Committees and Industry Functional Advisory Committees, which are advisory councils that give private industry a voice in international trade policy. Panel members represented the nine industries affected by APEC's proposal, including jewelry, environmental products and services, energy, fisheries, forestry, toys, medical goods, chemical products and telecommunications. Some 200 private-sector and government representatives attended the session. Ted Leach of Leach and Garner, North Attleboro, MA, also represented the jewelry industry on the panel. For more information, call MJSA at (800) 444-MJSA.

- by Stacey King