AEM-CECE make joint statement on free trade

Published 27/12, 2019 at 17:00

Equipment manufacturers on both sides of the Atlantic have asked for reason and mutual benefit to prevail in the current trade related discussions, emphasising that the free flow of trade and investment is the lifeblood of modern manufacturing.

Equipment manufacturers in the United States and the European Union depend on global supply chains to source parts and components and access foreign markets to export their machinery. 

The AEM and CECE state that today 80% of world trade is driven by supply chains, with trade in intermediate goods now nearly twice as large as trade in final goods. This is especially important in advanced manufacturing such as construction equipment manufacturing. As both the United States and European Union are centres of technological development, transatlantic trade is helping create a strong path to sustained manufacturing competitiveness. However, recent government decisions are threatening to undermine continual economic growth and development.

The United States has recently announced its plans to place tariffs on €6.8B of European Union goods, including certain types of construction machinery, following the WTO ruling on Airbus. The EU may follow suit if the WTO Boeing case is decided against the U.S. Notoriously, the use of tariffs will inevitably lead to counter tariffs, lost markets for producers, higher consumer prices, shaky investor confidence and the potential to undermine long established transatlantic supply chains that both workers and industry depend on. 

The organisations state that both the United States and the European Union need to focus on removing barriers to trade while working together to counter unfair trade practices by third countries. Strengthening the rule of law and reforming the WTO to effectively respond to the challenges of global commerce in the 21st century is in the shared interests of both the United States and the European Union.

By issuing a joint statement, the European Construction Equipment Manufacturers (CECE) association and the American Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) call on the European Union and the United States to work diligently together to defuse tensions. They further request that the United States abandons all plans of imposing these tariffs and avoid escalations leading to the imposition of additional tariffs by the European Union.

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