‘Scoping exercise’ for assessing trade negotiations EU-Japan must cover all relevant fields

Brussels, 28 May 2011 – ACEA, the European automobile industry’s trade association, takes due note of the fact that the EU has not given unconditional green light for a free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan, today, as the merits, conditions and consequences of such an agreement are not sufficiently established and assessed at present.

The ‘scoping exercise’, that was ordered by the EU-Japan Summit in Brussels, should cover all relevant fields and its outcome must be thoroughly analysed before taking any further steps. “ACEA supports trade liberalisation first and foremost within the multilateral framework of the WTO, particularly with regard to the elimination of tariffs”, said Ivan Hodac, Secretary General of ACEA.

“To facilitate market access around the globe it is, furthermore, essential to speed up the further harmonisation of vehicle standards and certification. ACEA welcomes the Japanese initiative to launch a discussion in Geneva of a system for International Whole Vehicle Type Approval.”

As regards the scoping exercise, this task should include the full identification of non-tariff barriers to trade as well as of the firm commitment to eliminate them and take any other relevant measures to achieve the opening of the Japanese market. Non-tariff barriers have led foreign car manufacturers to have a market share of less than 5% in the world’s third largest economy.

The scoping exercise must also involve a complete assessment of the impact of a trade agreement on manufacturing and employment in the EU. Hodac: “Importantly, there cannot be an automatic opening of FTA negotiations, regardless of the outcome of the exercise. Its findings must be thoroughly analysed.”.


About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 16 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers: BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler Truck, Ferrari, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco Group, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Renault Group, Stellantis, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.
  • Visit www.acea.auto for more information about ACEA, and follow us on www.twitter.com/ACEA_auto or www.linkedin.com/company/ACEA/.
  • Contact: Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director, cm@acea.auto, +32 485 88 66 47.

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About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.7 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 6.6% of all EU jobs.
  • 11.5% of EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.5 million – are in the automotive sector.
  • Motor vehicles are responsible for €398.4 billion of tax revenue for governments across key European markets.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €76.3 billion for the EU.
  • The turnover generated by the auto industry represents more than 8% of the EU’s GDP.
  • Investing €58.8 billion in R&D annually, the automotive sector is Europe’s largest private contributor to innovation, accounting for 32% of total EU spending.
Content type Press release
Vehicle types All vehicles
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