-- Today, U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), along with U.S. Reps. Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) and Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12), applauded the decision of Mexican authorities allowing Advanced Drainage Systems (ADS) -- an Ohio manufacturer of high-density polyethylene pipe (HDPP) -- to resume sales in Mexico.
"I am pleased that Mexico has decided to do the right thing and allow ADS to export their high-quality goods to Mexican consumers," Portman said. "It is critical that our international trading partners play by the rules and open their markets to American products. In the past four years, I have toured factories all over our state--and whichever factory floor I have been on, I have seen the exports story with my own eyes. Today, 25 percent of Ohio manufacturing jobs are dependent upon exports. Exports are good for Ohio, and they are good for Ohio workers. I will continue to work to pursue a more permanent solution for manufactures facing trade barriers, and I hope that this decision by Mexico is a positive first step down a path that benefits both our nations."
Brown also praised the move.
"The backbone of Ohio's economy is our manufacturing sector, but in order for it to thrive, our businesses need an equal playing field in the international market," Brown said. "That is why Mexico's decision is a positive step for both ADS and Ohio's workers. I applaud the Obama Administration's vigilance in ensuring Mexican authorities adhere to the law. This will allow ADS to expand its business, create local jobs, and contribute more to our state's economy. I look forward to continuing work with my colleagues in order to maintain this momentum."
ADS employs nearly 700 Ohio workers and is the world's largest producer of HDPP.
"This decision will be good for jobs in Ohio and America, but it is also the right thing to do," Stivers said. "As a result, Mexico will get more affordable, high-quality infrastructure."
During the last two years, Portman, Brown, Stivers and Tiberi have repeatedly urged the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to take action on behalf of American drainage and sewage pipe manufacturers like ADS who were being excluded from the Mexican market in violation of Mexico's international trade obligations.
"The Mexican government's decision to allow ADS to export goods, honoring its trade obligations, is a positive step on a path to an improved trade relationship," Tiberi said. "Expanding market access for Ohio manufacturers is good not only for Ohio companies but good for Ohio workers."
On Aug. 9, Mexico agreed to issue ADS a one-year certificate allowing the company to sell its products in Mexico.
While this decision is a step in the right direction, it is important that the USTR continue to press for a long-term solution that will ensure that export markets in Mexico remain open for ADS and all American manufacturers, Portman said.