AEM-CECE Joint Statement on Free Trade and Against Tariffs

Published: 9/12, 2019

Issued by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and European industry association of construction equipment manufacturers (CECE) on October 17, 2019.

The free flow of trade and investment is the lifeblood of modern manufacturing. Equipment manufacturers in the United States and European Union depend on global supply chains to source parts and components, and access foreign markets to export their machinery. According to the PEII Industrial overview, “80 percent 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 centers 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 $7.5 billion of European Union goods, including certain types of construction machinery, following the World Trade Organization [WTO] ruling on Airbus. The EU may follow suit if the WTO Boeing case is decided against the US. 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 our workers and industry depend on. 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, [our organizations] 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.

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