Fostering growth through international trade

International trade is playing an increasingly important role in the overall competitiveness of the European automotive industry. European manufacturers are global players, and therefore need a trade policy that is balanced, fair and reciprocal, providing impetus to produce for both European markets and for export.


European trade policy should serve to strengthen Europe’s manufacturing base. Trade is a clear source of potential growth, but it needs the right environment in which to deliver the benefits.


  • Maintain a comprehensive approach to trade policy that covers tariff elimination, the removal of non-tariff barriers and regulatory cooperation.
  • Negotiate and conclude trade agreements only where there are mutually-anticipated benefits, or a ‘level playing-field’.
  • Carefully assess both the individual and the cumulative impacts of free trade agreements (FTAs) on the EU economy.
  • Align Europe’s trade and industrial policies.
  • Encourage the uptake by third countries of UN Regulations, in an effort to harmonise standards and to reduce the cost of placing automotive products on foreign markets.
  • Ensure the systematic and regular monitoring of the implementation of FTAs.
  • Eliminate any restrictions on exports and supplies of raw materials.


  • Maximise the potential of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) by dismantling tariffs and achieving regulatory convergence with the US. Improve international harmonisation through the Global Technical Regulation process.
  • Create full regulatory convergence with Japan based on UN Regulations, so that a vehicle or powertrain certified in Europe can be sold in Japan without the need for further testing, certification, marking or modification.
  • Carefully assess the implementation of the EU-South Korea FTA to ensure it is executed fairly and correctly.
  • Create a level playing field for European manufacturers in emerging markets such as China.
Content type News article
Vehicle types All vehicles
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