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Consumer Electronics Association Kicks Off Its Nationwide Free Trade Campaign at Audiovox Corporation Headquarters
Jul 22, 2008 (08:07 AM EDT)


HAUPPAUGE, N.Y., July 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)(R) began a new nationwide grassroots educational initiative to help all Americans understand the importance of trade to creating jobs and driving U.S. economic growth. This collaborative effort among CEA and its membership kicked-off in high fashion yesterday morning at Audiovox Corporation headquarters.

CEA is engaging in this national effort to highlight the importance of trade to American companies and most importantly, American workers. This 28-state campaign will feature a pro-trade branded bus tour that will embark on a "road trip" throughout the country -- visiting communities across the Nation to demonstrate the value of trade to American business and to our Nation's economy. A formal conference was held Mayor Bloomberg and other CEA dignitaries yesterday afternoon, but not before the CEA bus pulled into 150 Marcus Blvd. for opening remarks by Audiovox Chairman, John Shalam and Audiovox CEO, Patrick Lavelle, who also serves as Chairman of CEA.

"America Wins with Trade is a fitting CEA slogan, because we do win. We win by creating jobs, fueling corporate growth and by putting more money in the hands of the consumers to aid economic expansion," said Shalam. "America is the largest exporter of goods and services in the world. If we continue to allow our global competitors to enter new countries before us and establish their brands and presence, it becomes harder for us to compete and cuts down on our exports, which has a damaging effect on the U.S. economy. The consumer electronics industry is a vital part of America's global economy and I am appreciative of CEA's efforts."

Spurred by trade, the consumer electronics industry is projected to generate $1.4 trillion in direct business activity this year and directly employ more than 4.4 million Americans. Trade plays a critical role in the industry's health -- for example one in seven of those jobs, or about 616,000 jobs, is directly tied to America's trade overseas. Of CEA's 2,300 members, 80 percent are small and mid-sized companies with revenues of $30 million or less. For companies of this size in particular, trade is crucial for business growth and domestic job creation.

"Free trade fosters competition, which in the end, directly benefits consumers as product quality is enhanced and at more affordable prices. It also creates jobs both in and outside of the United States. The efforts underway by CEA are of the utmost importance to Audiovox, the consumer electronics industry and America. I would like to commend CEA for taking such an active role in educating our legislators and the public at large about the importance of free trade and how it benefits all Americans," stated Pat Lavelle.

CEA has called on Congress to pursue a pro-growth trade policy that includes:

-- Aggressively pursuing bilateral trade agreements. In the absence of an agreement in the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO), bilateral trade agreements offer the next best way to open foreign markets to U.S. small businesses. Trade agreements create sales opportunities, reduce costs and diminish uncertainties. Through trade agreements we can implement intellectual property rights standards, establish substantive investment protections and provide increased transparency to U.S. exporters. Currently, CEA urges Congress to pass the Colombia, Panama and Korea Free Trade Agreements.

-- Reauthorize trade promotion authority. Without trade promotion authority our trading partners will be reluctant to negotiate trade pacts with the U.S. America's hands will be tied, and the U.S. will fall behind other nations negotiating trade agreements at an unprecedented pace.

-- Eliminate non-tariff barriers. Non-tariff barriers hinder trade and burden small companies with unnecessary compliance costs. Examples of these barriers include cumbersome customs regulations, corrupt government procurement processes, and most recently, a proliferation of divergent or non-harmonized approaches to environmental standards, among others.

-- Uphold and enforce trade agreements. In addition to pursuing new agreements, the U.S. must commit to maintaining and enforcing those agreements already in place. The U.S. must take an aggressive stance to protect products already covered by the WTO's Information Technology Agreement (ITA). The ITA covers over 97 percent of the world trade in information technology products, and provides for the elimination of duties on those covered products. But as technology has evolved, many countries claim that the ITA does not apply to the next generation of covered products. It is crucial for the United States to uphold provisions of the ITA that allow for future developments of IT products and enable companies to enjoy the full scope of the agreements intended duty-free benefits.

"Trade isn't just vital to our companies and our industry, it is essential to preserving America's prosperity and way of life. Our political leaders have told us to make the case to the American people why trade is vital to our nation's future, so we are launching this nationwide effort," said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. "The facts demonstrate that trade creates millions of American jobs and provides billions of dollars to our economy. When America competes in the global marketplace, our nation's economy and workers win."

About CEA

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $161 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,200 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES -- Where Entertainment, Technology and Business Converge. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA's industry services. Find CEA online at http://www.CE.org http://www.americawinswithtrade.com . For more information on the CEA trade initiative, please go to .

About Audiovox

Audiovox http://www.audiovox.com is a recognized leader in the marketing of automotive entertainment, vehicle security and remote start systems, consumer electronics products and consumer electronics accessories. The company is number one in mobile video and places in the top ten of almost every category that it sells. Among the lines marketed by Audiovox are its mobile electronics products including mobile video systems, auto sound systems including satellite radio, vehicle security and remote start systems; consumer electronics products such as MP3 players, digital camcorders, DVRs, clock radios, portable DVD players, portable GPS, flat-panel TV's, extended range two-way radios, multi media products like digital picture frames and home and portable stereos; consumer electronics accessories such as indoor/outdoor antennas, connectivity products, headphones, speakers, wireless solutions, remote controls, power & surge protectors and media cleaning & storage devices; Energizer-branded products for rechargeable batteries and battery packs for camcorders, cordless phones, digital cameras and DVD players, as well as for power supply systems, automatic voltage regulators and surge protectors. The company markets its products through an extensive distribution network that includes power retailers, 12-volt specialists, mass merchandisers and an OE sales group. The company markets products under the Audiovox, RCA, Jensen, Acoustic Research, Energizer, Advent, Code Alarm, TERK, Prestige and SURFACE brands. For additional information, visit our web site at .

Safe Harbor Statement

Except for historical information contained herein, statements made in this release that would constitute forward-looking statements may involve certain risks and uncertainties. All forward-looking statements made in this release are based on currently available information and the Company assumes no responsibility to update any such forward-looking statement. The following factors, among others, may cause actual results to differ materially from the results suggested in the forward-looking statements. The factors include, but are not limited to, risks that may result from changes in the Company's business operations; our ability to keep pace with technological advances; significant competition in the mobile and consumer electronics businesses as well as the wireless business; our relationships with key suppliers and customers; quality and consumer acceptance of newly introduced products; market volatility; non-availability of product; excess inventory; price and product competition; new product introductions; the possibility that the review of our prior filings by the SEC may result in changes to our financial statements; and the possibility that stockholders or regulatory authorities may initiate proceedings against Audiovox and/or our officers and directors as a result of any restatements. Risk factors associated with our business, including some of the facts set forth herein, are detailed in the Company's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 29, 2008 and Form 10-Q for the fiscal first quarter ended May 31, 2008.

Contact: Glenn Wiener, GW Communications

Tel: 212-786-6011 / Email: gwiener@GWCco.com

CONTACT: Glenn Wiener, GW Communications, +1-212-786-6011, gwiener@GWCco.com, for Audiovox Corporation

Web site: http://www.audiovox.com/ http://www.CE.org/ http://www.americawinswithtrade.com/