Contact: Ryan Baldwin (202) 249-6517  

WASHINGTON (April 22, 2013) - The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement in response to the announcement today that the trade ministers of the 11 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries agreed by consensus to finalize with Japan the process for entry to the TPP negotiations:

"ACC and our  members welcome Japan to the Pacific free-trade talks. Japan's presence in these negotiations can broaden their scope and impact while helping to pave the way for U.S. businesses to advance existing commercial relationships with this important trading partner.

"ACC and its members strongly encourage the inclusion of additional trading partners ready to commit to the ambitious trade parameters agreed to by the original negotiating parties.

"American jobs depend on access to important markets, and free trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership work to remove trade barriers and ensure a level playing field for U.S. chemical manufacturers, the nation's largest exporting sector, with nearly $189 billion in exports in 2012, accounting for 12 percent of all U.S exports. According to a recent industry report , swift conclusion of the TPP negotiations could generate an additional $1.2 billion in export growth in the chemical sector."

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