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visits Kodak

Trade rep
visits Kodak

The acting U.S. trade representative toured Eastman Kodak Co. today and vowed to open the Japanese market to the company’s products.
Charlene Barshefsky viewed the production lines where Kodak produces its single-use cameras for domestic and international markets.
“We have great confidence in the case brought to the WTO (World Trade Organization) against Japan,” she said.

Trade rep
visits Kodak

The acting U.S. trade representative toured Eastman Kodak Co. today and vowed to open the Japanese market to the company’s products.
Charlene Barshefsky viewed the production lines where Kodak produces its single-use cameras for domestic and international markets.
“We have great confidence in the case brought to the WTO (World Trade Organization) against Japan,” she said. “I look forward to working with Kodak to open markets.”
Kodak officials said they welcomed an opportunity to show Barshefsky how the company produces high-quality photographic products. They alleged Japan will not open its markets to those products.
The Rochester plant produces 80 percent of the single-use cameras manufactured by Kodak. It provides more than 2,000 jobs in Monroe County.
Barshefsky said the case before the WTO should be completed within 14 months. She expects a preliminary decision in six months.
“If the U.S. wins and Japan does not comply, the U.S. can retaliate (with trade sanctions against Japanese products),” she said. “It is a powerful incentive to comply.”
The trade representative said U.S. officials expect Japan to comply with any WTO decision.
Daniel Carp, assistant chief operating officer at Kodak, told Barshefsky that the company is locked out of the second-largest photographic market in the world. Barshefsky was given a single-use camera designed specifically for the Japanese market.
Carp laughed at allegations made Friday that the U.S. market was not open to Japanese products.
“It is just a ridiculous move by the government of Japan,” he said. “We are the most open market in the world.”
The WTO Dispute Settlement Body established an international panel to consider the U.S. complaints against the Japanese government regarding barriers to foreign-produced photographic products. Creation of the panel is expected to be completed on Oct. 16.
Japan invoked its right to delay consideration of the move until that time.
Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, accompanied the trade representative on the tour. The U.S. government strongly supports Kodak’s effort to open the Japanese markets, she said.
“One of the greatest by-products (of the WTO suit) is it tells the world that the U.S. is not going to take it any more,” she said.

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