First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
Construction equipment manufacturers on both sides of the Atlantic have called for “reason and mutual benefit” to prevail in current U.S.-EU trade-related discussions.
The U.S. government has announced plans to place tariffs on US$7.5bn/€6.8bn of European Union goods, including certain types of construction machinery, following the WTO (World Trade Organisation) ruling on Airbus. The European Union (EU) may follow suit if the WTO Boeing case is decided against the U.S.
In a joint statement, the U.S.-based Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and the Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE) say the use of tariffs 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 our workers and industry depend on.
The influential industry associations stress how the free flow of trade and investment is the lifeblood of modern manufacturing. They also emphasise how equipment manufacturers in the U.S. and EU depend on global supply chains to source parts and components, and access foreign markets to export their machinery.
The AEM-CECE joint statement continued: “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 like 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 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 the United States and the European Union.
“With this joint statement, the European industry association of construction equipment manufacturers (CECE) and the American Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) call on the European Union and the United States to work diligently together to defuse the tensions, abandon all plans by the United States of imposing these tariffs and avoid escalations leading to the imposition of additional tariffs by the European Union.”
AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry in the United States supports 1.3 million jobs and contributes roughly US$159bn annually to the economy.
CECE represents the interests of national construction equipment manufacturer associations in 13 European countries, including Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Russia and Turkey. The sector counts around 1200 companies that employ about 300,000 people directly and inderectly. Their annual revenues amount to around €40 billion.