27 September 2004 17:20 [Source: ICIS news]
MONTE CARLO, Monaco (CNI)--US chemicals manufacturers remain deeply concerned about the still developing European Union (EU) program for registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals (Reach) because of its impact on Europe and possible “copycat” legislation in the US, a top industry official said here Monday.
Bob Slaughter, president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), told CNI here today that US chemicals firms are as concerned and worried as their European counterparts by the potential market disruptions of Reach.
“We’re concerned,” Slaughter said, “because of the impact Reach likely will have on an already declining EU share of the worldwide chemicals market,” noting that US producers would not profit from a declining European market.
In addition, he said, as now drawn Reach would have serious impact on US producers. The impact of so broad a regulatory program, said Slaughter, would come at a time when ?xml:namespace>
Slaughter spoke with CNI on the sidelines of the 38th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting here.
Although the Reach program is not to be implemented until mid-2006, Slaughter said its impact already looms large. “This is serious, no question,” Slaughter said. He noted as a point of interest that European labour unions have joined with chemicals manufacturers in opposition to Reach because of the program’s likely negative impact on existing jobs in the industry and future jobs creation.
In addition to the likely trade impact of Reach for both Europe and the US, Slaughter said NPRA is concerned that the advance of Reach will prompt some in the US Congress to seek a parallel if not a duplicate regulatory structure in the US.
“We’re concerned that if Reach is put into force in two years in its present form,” Slaughter said, “it will stand as a matrix that other countries may seek to copy.”
“There are some on Capitol Hill,” Slaughter said, “who are talking about some aspects of the Reach program in terms of US chemical industry regulation. This is something we’re watching very closely.”
But Slaughter also noted that, given the broad, multi-sector opposition to Reach in
The 38th annual EPCA conference runs through Tuesday (29th September).
CNI EPCA newsroom: Suite Naiades C, Grand Hotel; Tel: + 377-9315-1070/71
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