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December 2017
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The American and European machine tool associations publish a joint statement on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology and CECIMO represent together over 2000 companies from both sides of the Atlantic. The organisations advocate for better market opportunities and support free trade. AMT and CECIMO welcome the commitment expressed by the European Union and the United States to reach to comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The highly innovative machine tool sector stresses the need to tackle wider area than only abolishing of tariffs to provide concrete and measurable reductions to trade barriers.

Divergences between the EU and the US regulations create different technical requirements, specifications, standards, conformity assessment procedures and licensing procedures. The lack of regulatory convergence forces companies to invest time and resources in duplicative procedures in order to demonstrate compliance. More compatible standards could lead to considerable savings and increased production efficiency in the manufacturing sector. AMT and CECIMO stand for efforts to standardise the testing procedures and authorisation processes.

The difference between the EU and the US regulations often lies in the use of different legal tools for the same public policy choices. TTIP should enhance cooperation between the EU and the US to ensure that existing and new regulations are complementary and minimise the burden on companies. Tackling regulatory divergences between two countries will benefit businesses of all sizes and increase transatlantic trade flows. Trading countries should aim for the mutual recognition of technical requirements for machine tools in line with the international consensus-based standards.

TTIP is an opportunity to address the challenges of the internationalisation of the SMEs. In the EU, companies with fewer than 250 employees represent 90% of businesses and 66% of the workforce. In the US, companies with fewer than 500 employees represent 99% of businesses and about half of the total employment. We support measures that improve the SME’s access to the information and markets.

TTIP should enhance transparency in the rulemaking, private sector engagement, and increase opportunities to provide timely inputs. AMT and CECIMO stress the importance of transparent and predictable regulatory environment for the machine tool industry. We call for transparency by regulators and competent authorities in providing information on planned regulatory acts and roadmaps