CECIMO, the European Association for the Additive Manufacturing sector, endorses the EU’s commitment to keep additive manufacturing (AM) as one of the priorities areas in EU-US talks for a trade deal on industrial goods. Forging EU-US cooperation on regulations and standards has significant potential in facilitating the growth of AM technology on both sides – especially considering their position as leading actors in the AM sector.
At present, there are non-tariff barriers in the EU-US trade of AM solutions that generate financial and administrative burdens for exporters. Examples of that are lengthy processes to establish rules of origin for products, which are responsible for additional costs and custom delays. Tackling them in the context of this trade deal will further expand transatlantic AM trade opportunities. Similarly, an agreement that achieves the alignment of technical requirements between US and European standards and regulations in conformity assessment procedures will entail cost savings and a greater level of clarity for trade requirements, all whilst maintaining an equivalent level of protection to what is in place today.
‘’Addressing barriers to EU-US trade such as double certification issues would boost the growth of AM solutions in both economies. The fact AM has been singled out in the trade discussions right from the beginning is a sign of the importance of this technology for industrial trade today’’, said Mr Stewart Lane, Chairman of the CECIMO AM Committee. ‘’Both Europe and the US are notable actors in the global AM market. CECIMO will continue to cooperate with trade negotiators and convey the views of Europe-based AM exporters on non-tariff barriers encountered in EU-US trade. Our aim is to ensure negotiations progress and deliver a final trade deal that improve access of European AM companies to the US market’’, said Dr Roland Feichtl, member of the Supervisory Board of KRAUSECO Werkzeugmaschinen and CECIMO President.
These trade discussions stem from a July 2018 agreement between the EU and US to initiate talks on an ambitious bilateral trade deal that would focus on industrial goods. Negotiations have taken place so far in the context of a joint Executive Working Group, comprising key trade officials from both sides. In a progress update in January 2019 that summarised the initial discussions, the European Commission pointed to AM as a ‘specific technology’ that needed to be worked on with US counterparts to forge deeper transatlantic regulatory cooperation.