August 2018

Dear Reader, Dear Members and Friends,

In recent months, the world has been witnessing an increasing wave of trade protectionism. The United States placed duties on worldwide imports of steel and aluminum products. The EU, Canada, Mexico, China and other American trading partners retaliated in kind. There is talk of imposing import duties of up to twenty five percent on cars, if this happens, it could lead to a worldwide economic crisis and recession.

Against this background, President Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of European Commission met in Washington on 25 July 2018 to discuss ways to avert a possible escalation of tariff wars and specifically to ward off the imposition of any new tariffs, particularly on automobiles. At the end of the meeting, both sides agreed to hold off on the imposition of new tariffs for now, and to intensify efforts to negotiate the elimination of all tariffs and other non-tariff barriers to trade between the EU and the United States. Both sides will continue to discuss measures to lift the already imposed tariffs.  

The vbw welcomes this new development as a step in the right direction, however, warns that concrete and lasting achievements must be reached as soon as possible, because the threats of escalation of the tariff wars have not disappeared altogether. They have only been put on hold. To that extent, only a negotiated agreement with clear rules can offer the business community a lasting sense of relief.

The vbw is further of the position that the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which offers the same goals and aspirations as were agreed on by Presidents Juncker and Trump should be restarted immediately.

In today’s world where supply chains, especially in the automotive industry are worldwide and interconnected; businesses, consumers and employees cannot afford the uncertainty and havoc that a possible escalating tariff or trade war can have on their livelihoods and production.   

We look forward to continuing to serve your interests. Please get in touch with suggestions on how we can even serve you better.

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