The automotive industry relies heavily on trade. The majority of automotive companies are global organisations with customers in every corner of the globe. International trade is vital to maintain the competitiveness of the European automotive industry, as a large proportion of the vehicles produced in Europe are exported for foreign markets; non-tariff trade barriers and difficulty with market access restrict competitiveness and a manufacturers’ ability to get their vehicles to their customers.
ESCA supports a free, fair and reciprocal trading with countries around the world. Further, ESCA fully supports the work of the European Union on it’s trade negotiation programme with third party states and will welcome mutually beneficial arrangements and shared rewards for international trading partners. Our members rely on access to markets to provide jobs and contribute to the European economy.
Further, the Commission recognises that 80% of the predicted growth of the European automotive sector is going to take place outside of Europe. With that in mind, we support the position that the EU is taking in concluding and enforcing preferential trade and investment agreements with countries around the world. We are pleased to have been part of the discussions to allow European companies to access third markets and continue to benefit from the economies of scale.
ESCA is aligned with a number of different actors in the automotive industry on the issue of trade. Along with ACEA, we believe that there should be a comprehensive approach to trade across the globe for European manufacturers to enter markets and have a level playing field to allow European vehicles to be sold in foreign markets. Small manufacturers should be able to access new markets and remain in existing markets, without unfair or disproportionate treatment in comparison to a national manufacturers or manufacturers from other territories.
ESCA specifically faces challenges with non-tariff barriers to trade as emissions taxes and regulatory challenges in new and emerging markets, where the client base for ESCA member vehicles is growing at an exponential rate. From the perspective of ESCA, non-tariff barriers to market access pose a significant threat to our members. The impact of non-tariff barriers on ESCA members has a disproportionate impact compared to the mainstream industry as costs and sales are immediately impacted.