Ford wants uniform regulatory standards in the US and Europe

Article by Anita Panait, on March 8, 2013

Ford Motor Co. is urging for the removal of trade tariffs between the United States and Europe, Wolfgang Schneider, Ford's European vice president for governmental affairs, told Automotive News Europe said in an interview. Schneider said that Ford also believes that regulators in the US and Europe should accept each other's safety and environmental standards.

He said that those conditions would give carmakers more flexibility to produce in the best place. Schneider remarked that duties on cars and commercial vehicles shipped between the US and European Union countries as well as different rules on vehicle-quality and emissions only add cost burdens and prevent development of uniform models for markets around the world.

Schneider pointed out that the benefits of a potential treaty currently being considered may be felt by 2020. He said that removing the tariff barriers is the first step while ending regulatory barriers is the "golden nugget."

A trans-Atlantic trade agreement is progressing after US President Barack Obama pledged in his State of the Union address in February 2013 to pursue a deal to expand the world's largest economic relationship. EU Trade Commissioner Kerek De Gucht remarked on Feb. 13, 2013 that the union seeks to complete the discussions with the US in two years to lower import tariffs, ease regulatory barriers and expand access in investment, services and public procurement.

Ford expects the discussions between the US and the EU to commence midway through 2013, Schneider told Automotive News Europe. He added that all carmakers are in favor of the idea, which is not the situation with the EU's free-trade agreement with Korea and its proposed agreement with Japan.

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