The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) issued a statement in support of recent U.S. legislation for free trade agreements (FTAs) with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. NEMA says its member companies are looking forward to full implementation of each agreement as soon as possible since each augurs greater market access and associated commercial benefits.

“These agreements need to be brought online as soon as possible in 2012,” say NEMA President and CEO, Evan R. Gaddis, in a prepared statement. “Many of our member companies are eager to export more equipment and services abroad. They will soon have preferential access to our newest free trade agreement partners in Asia and Latin America, thanks to the FTAs.”

In 2010, U.S. electrical equipment and medical imaging equipment manufacturers exported more than $1.4 billion worth of goods to South Korea, Colombia, and Panama combined, according to NEMA. Most customs tariffs on these goods will be dropped to zero immediately upon entry into force of the agreements; the rest will be eliminated progressively in the coming years. NEMA believes the agreements will also provide greater protection for intellectual property rights and open the countries’ markets for government procurement as well as energy, environmental, engineering, and maintenance/repair services.