Press Releases

VDA President Bernhard Mattes comments on trade-policy agreements between EU and US

Berlin, 26 July 2018

Good de-escalation signal – Commence negotiations quickly

“This de-escalation signal is important and represents a big step forward following the developments of recent weeks. It means that now a real opportunity exists that additional import duties – not to mention a trade war – can be avoided between the US and the EU. That is good news for business and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic. Now the important thing is to put the understanding into practice and commence negotiations quickly.

“Taken together, the EU and the US account for 50 percent of world trade. The automotive industry regards the removal of import duties and non-tariff trade barriers on both sides as the right path to take. We support a transatlantic agreement in conformity with WTO rules on industrial goods, which should include vehicles. The EU should now take united action and utilize the leeway it has for trade-policy.

“The German automotive industry stands for free world trade. Access to the international markets and the elimination of trade barriers are key prerequisites for ensuring our competitiveness and thus for growth and employment. What is more, free and fair trade is crucial for our activities in the US, because the United States is a strategically important market and production location for the German manufacturers and suppliers. Our companies operate over 300 plants employing more than 118,000 people. The German OEMs build over 800,000 vehicles per year in the US. Over half of all cars they produce there are exported to Europe, Asia or the rest of the world. So it is all the more important that a comprehensive solution to the tariff dispute should be found, including other countries affected – such as China, Mexico and Canada.

“We welcome the intention to remove non-tariff trade barriers because the mutual recognition of standards, and regulatory cooperation, eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy and reduce costs. That would offer additional sales opportunities to small and medium-sized companies in particular, and strengthen competition. Customers on both sides of the Atlantic would benefit.”


Eckehart Rotter
Eckehart Rotter Head of Department Press

Tel: +49 30 897842-120 Fax: +49 30 897842-603
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