Chemical industry association supports free trade agreement EU/USA
FRANKFURT, Germany, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - Verband der Chemischen
Industrie (VCI, the German chemical industry association) supports a
rapid start of negotiations between the EU and the USA: towards a
transatlantic free trade zone. The VCI's director-general Dr Utz
Tillmann is glad that US President Obama gives the green light for
talks about a comprehensive trade partnership. Tillmann states: "We
appreciate that free world trade and the transatlantic partnership have
moved back to the top of the political agenda. Both are essential to
our industry and thus to our country. With such an agreement, Europe
and the USA can stimulate growth in the transatlantic market and help
create new jobs."
According to Tillmann, industrial tariffs are low in trading between the
USA and the EU. The average US chemical tariff is 2.25 percent. But
with the enormous trade volume, even low extra charges cause high
costs: in 2010 European chemical companies paid almost 700 million
euros to the US Treasury for exports stateside. The other way round, US
companies paid well over 1 billion euros to Brussels.
Tillmann thinks that several goals should be pursued in an agreement
with the USA. Beside an end to all industrial tariffs, eliminating
non-tariff trade barriers is also important to the chemical industry.
As the first step, regulations and standards for protecting the
environment, consumers and health should be stronger attuned to each
other and finally lead to mutual recognition. Further countries should
be able to accede to this agreement, in order not to weaken the World
Trade Organization (WTO).
Moreover, Tillmann believes that an agreement with the USA will bring
fresh impulses for other bilateral free trade agreements too. As the
WTO Doha round is at a standstill, Tillmann sees no chances of reducing
trade obstacles in this setting. Against this backdrop, he is in favour
of the EU driving forward bilateral agreements also, for example, with
Japan. The focus needs to be on initiatives for open markets and fair
competition. Tillmann concludes: "Now we can push the door wide open
for more freedom and fewer restrictions in world trade - if Europe and
the USA show political leadership and say no to protectionism."
The VCI represents the politico-economic interests of some 1,650 German
chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses. For
this purpose, the VCI is in contact with politicians, public
authorities, other industries, science and media. The VCI stands for
over 90 percent of the chemical industry in Germany. In 2012 the German
chemical industry realized sales of more than 184 billion euros and employed ca. 437,000 staff.
SOURCE: The German chemical industry association (VCI)
For further information:
Contact: VCI Press Dept.