Brussels, 28 February 2017 – As the European Commission launches ‘EU Industry Day’ today with an agenda focussed on supporting European industry, AEGIS Europe called on policy-makers to develop an action plan that delivers industrial jobs and growth.
“The manufacturing sector represents the backbone of the European economy, yet we continue to experience job losses. We call on policy-makers to develop a strong action plan to prevent further job losses in the sector,” pointed out Milan Nitzschke, spokesperson for AEGIS Europe, an alliance representing nearly 30 European associations representing a broad variety of manufacturing areas, including traditional industries, consumer branches, SMEs and renewable energy sectors.
European education, social standards, R&D and technological clusters, and sophisticated value chains create tremendous advantages for European economy. However, these standards and values must also be applied to products coming into the EU from third countries.
“If we continue to apply double standards then we will further unnecessarily weaken European manufacturing. We cannot allow exporters to conquer the market and displace domestic producers because of unfair competition. The EU must insist on reciprocity and compliance with international trade rules,” stated Mr Nitzschke.
China, for example, is not a market economy. It follows a strict diet of state subsidies for manufacturing, financing overcapacities, distorting prices and encouraging dumping of exports. “China’s government is focussed on systemically weakening sectors that they have identified in their 5-year plan, with a view to engaging in strategic takeovers of foreign interests,” said Mr Nitzschke.
The EU has a massive trade deficit with China, it remains for the second year at a record level of more than €170bn Euros, which has led to hundreds of thousands of jobs and millions of euros of investments being lost across the EU.
“Today, European policy-makers have an opportunity to turn talk into action on trade, environment and social policy. Policy-makers have previously committed to reaching the target of 20% of GDP from industry. We now call on them to follow through on their commitment with actions that deliver the right policies and to report the outcomes,” Mr Nitzschke concluded.
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