EU-US Free Trade Deal Begins, Completion Expected In 2015

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
eu us free trade deal begins completion expected in 2015

The United States and the European Union will begin talks on a free-trade agreement, which may take as long as two years to complete. The deal is expected to be worth some $613 billion annually, and could have some interesting implications for the auto sector.

The first and most obvious possibility is the end of import duties for passenger cars and light trucks; 2.5 percent for cars and 25 percent for trucks. Such a deal would amount to an end for the “chicken tax” for European made light trucks.

This may have an impact on the manufacturing profile for the world’s automakers as well. Mexico is currently in vogue due to low labor costs and the ability to export Mexican made cars to the United States and Europe. But with a US-EU free trade deal, there may be an extra incentive to bring some production to Europe, particularly if there’s unused capacity burning a hole in their pocket.

Also worth keeping an eye on is vehicle safety standard harmonization. The FMVSS standards vary from the UN/ECE standards used by pretty much everyone else, and this deal may bring about some kind of agreement on harmonization between the two. The FMVSS is frequently cited as a non-tariff barrier to trade by many observers. Not many would be sad to see it go.

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  • RobertRyan RobertRyan on Feb 15, 2013

    @Big Al from Oz, Did 15 European countries in 2010. Saw Grand total of EIGHT US Pickups,most were HD Rams scattered around various cities. and one broken F150 in Greece. @HighDesertCat is right, virtually no US Pickups. Could not see ANY US cars.

    • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Feb 15, 2013

      @Robert Ryan What I saw was a relatively new F-250 Super Duty single cab. I was at my cousins about 7km from Hotel de Ville. The streets are very congested and narrow, like lanes in Australia. The Metro was the only way. When I stayed at my Uncle's between Bordeaux and Toulouse farmers had a lot of Tritons by French standards, and believe it or not I saw 200 Series Cruisers and Patrols and a number of short wheelbase Prado's. I can only think of Spain making any ute and that is the Navara. VW is supposed to building Amaroks in Germany soon.

  • RobertRyan RobertRyan on Feb 15, 2013

    @Big Al from Oz What stood out for me, was there more Pickups in Southern Europe(especially Greece). As I said they are pretty rare in Europe as Vans and Cab Chassis versions of Vans do a lot of the "work" aspects of Pickups. I did see a RAM parked near a Canal in Amsterdam surrounded by what appeared to be a million bicycles,Another RAM not far from Central London and most unusual a RAM going over a bridge in Milan.

    • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Feb 15, 2013

      @Robert Ryan I read yesterday (Sydney Morning Herald) that the Chev SS will be "presented" today. They have a picture of the Commodore, apparently it will be a Commodore with a few "bolt on" pieces to make it more aggresive looking ie bonnet scoops etc, for the US market. Oh, the engine we will get is the 6 litre and the US is getting the 6.2.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Feb 15, 2013

    @Robert Ryan I was thinking the PSA link to Mitsubishi could be the reason for the number of Tritons I saw in the south of France.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Feb 15, 2013

    @Robert Ryan Here is the link to the Chev SS article. Quite interesting, especially the number of V8 Commodores that are sold and the number of EVs.

    • CJinSD CJinSD on Feb 15, 2013

      The article said 25,000 V8 cars in Australia, not 25,000 Commodore V8s. It said a third of Commodores are V8s, which was only about 10,000 cars in 2012.