Exports to the U.S. Reach Record Level
In a recent statement Germany’s large and export-oriented plastics machinery industry reports record exports to USA and warns at the same time of any form of protectionism, stressing the importance of free trade agreements.
The US market for plastics and rubber machinery has grown appreciably since 2009. “After bottoming out in 2009, deliveries of German plastics and rubber machinery to the US have recovered steadily, reaching a record 719 million euro in 2015: an almost threefold increase,” VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association Chairman Ulrich Reifenhäuser is pleased to report. This means that after a space of seven years the US has overtaken China to regain first place among the most important markets for German machines.
In the wake of this trend, German deliveries to Mexico also rose sharply. In 2015 alone, exports of German plastics and rubber machinery were 50 per cent up on the previous year, taking Mexico to fourth place among the most important markets. The Mexican market’s strong rate of growth may also be explained by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has dismantled trade barriers in the region.
“Owing to the high level of demand for plastics, plastic packaging in particular, German plastics and rubber machinery manufacturers expect sales to the US and Mexico to remain strong,” says Thorsten Kühmann, the Association’s Managing Director. “Existing free trade agreements are of fundamental importance for this; any form of protectionism on the other hand will be damaging to the business activities of all concerned.”
Without naming them directly this statement is clearly a reference to the recent changes in American politics. In campaign statements of president-elect Donald Trump, he said his administration would “tell NAFTA partners that we intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers.”
Since the election, also other plastics associations have defended trade. The Washington-based American Chemistry Council called for “sound trade frameworks” to help realize the potential of shale gas-related investments. ACC officials have previously said both TTP and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership talks underway with Europe were important first steps in its trade agenda. VDMA said it would still support TTIP.
VDMA Fachverband für Kunststoff- und Gummimaschinen
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