EUROMAP and SPI: free trade for plastics machinery

EUROMAP and SPI: free trade…
The umbrella associations EUROMAP (European Plastics and Rubber Machinery) and SPI, The Plastics Industry Trade Association (United States), have signed a declaration of intent on free trade within the plastics machinery industry to strengthen their competitive position in the global marketplace thereby helping to safeguard the industry's 65,000 jobs. Today the European and American plastics machinery markets account for 50 percent of the global market with sales totalling 15 billion euro.

"The TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) is a milestone in terms of cooperation in our sector, and this should have a very positive impact on our business relationships," said William R. Carteaux, president and CEO of SPI.

Complete dismantling of tariffs

A key feature of free trade is the complete dismantling of tariffs, which will provide an instant boost for export sales of machinery. Many of the objections currently being expressed are nothing compared with the opportunities that would arise from an agreement. Tens of thousands of jobs could be created in Europe and the US across the whole machinery-manufacturing sector. "TTIP presents an opportunity not a risk," says Thorsten Kühmann, Secretary General of EUROMAP. Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic should therefore do more to promote TTIP among the population.

Harmonisation of technical standards

Both sides are aiming to harmonise safety standards and have already set up international (ISO) working groups. This will improve operating safety and simplify deliveries of machinery, which, in turn, will save time and effort and boost competitiveness.

Give medium-sized machinery manufacturers more of a say

Both umbrella associations are urging political representatives in the EU and the US to give greater consideration in their talks to the interests of the machinery manufacturing industry, which is largely made up of medium-sized enterprises. To date the requirements of these companies have been largely ignored, although at 13 per cent of total EU exports to the US, machinery manufacturers account for a greater share than the motor industry.