ACEA: EU-US automobile trade and production in context

In the margins of the Geneva motor show, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) reacts to recent discussions on possible tariffs on EU car imports to the United States by putting the trade relations between the two regions in context. “ACEA’s members are global companies, and international trade is an important pillar of the European …

In the margins of the Geneva motor show, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) reacts to recent discussions on possible tariffs on EU car imports to the United States by putting the trade relations between the two regions in context.

“ACEA’s members are global companies, and international trade is an important pillar of the European automobile industry’s competitiveness,” stated ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert. “Indeed, EU and US carmakers have been integrated for decades.”  ACEA therefore supports trade that is both free and fair, and respect for the international trade rules upon which these principles are based.

EU-US auto-related trade currently accounts for some 10% of total trade between the two regions. Today, the US is the third biggest exporter of cars to the EU in terms of value, representing a 15.4% share of EU imports in 2017. The US is the number one destination of EU car exports both in terms of units (with a 20.4% share of EU exports in 2017) and of value (29.3% share).

Jonnaert: “It is important to note that European manufacturers do not only import vehicles into the US, but that they have a major manufacturing footprint there, providing significant local employment and generating tax revenue. Indeed, some European manufacturers have their biggest plants not in the EU, but in the US.”

During discussions about a possible free trade agreement between the EU and the US, the so-called TTIP, manufacturers on either side of the Atlantic agreed that the elimination of tariffs and of non-tariff barriers through regulatory convergence would enable the automobile sector to lower costs and improve efficiency, while upholding high safety and environmental standards.

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