Brief on Automotive Sector and TTIP


All-Party Parliamentary Group on EU-US Trade & Investment

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on EU-US Trade & Investment hosted a meeting on the Automotive Sector and potential benefits and challenges from a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership  (TTIP) on Tuesday, February 4th in Westminster Palace with the following panelists:

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

Tony Woodley, Executive Officer of Unite

Andrew McCall, Executive Director of Ford of Europe

John Healey MP, Chair of APPG on EU-US Trade & Investment


The meeting was attended by a dozen Parliamentarians, and two dozen stakeholder and business representatives.


The automotive sector in the UK has been identified by analysts as one of the sectors that could see the biggest gains from a successful TTIP Agreement.  Around 10% of trade between the EU and the US is in the auto sector, and divergent regulatory measures have been estimated to add costs of around 26% for the sector when engaged in transatlantic trade.  Different regulations for example for seat belts or lights or air bags raise the cost of production.  The UK has become an important producer not only of cars, but also car parts. 1/3 of all Ford engines globally come out of the UK.  A successful agreement is expected to not only increase trade and growth for the automotive Industry, but also jobs, said Ford’s Andrew McCall.


Unite saw a TTIP as undoubtedly positive for the industry in light of the US being the second largest market for UK auto exports. Close to 50.000 vehicles are exported each year and reducing costs, improves the bottom line, enables more money to go into design and R&D and also wages.  Tony Woodley stressed that the devil was in the detail though, and unions welcomed the economic and jobs boost but do not want to see a leveling down of, for example, worker rights from an agreement.  100.000 Unite members come from the automotive industry.


SMMT’s Tony Hawes underlined that the UK automotive industry has experienced real momentum in the last decade. The establishment of the Auto Council and a focus on R&D had contributed to this momentum. 80% of cars produced in the UK are exported, and the US is a critical market for the UK industry.  A successful TTIP is particularly important to smaller manufacturers that maintain small volume niches in the market.  The costs of testing and classification is significant for the smaller producers.  Hawes saw a potential for the US and the EU together to set de facto global standards through an agreement.  Both Hawes and McCall stressed that harmonization of standards is not a goal for the negotiation, but a recognition of equivalence of regulatory requirements on each side of the Atlantic where feasible.  A study detailing where equivalence could be possible is currently underway funded by the industry.


The discussion demonstrated that there is strong and wide general support for a fair trade deal between the US and the EU.  The details of an agreement will determine if this broad support is maintained.  There was also strong agreement that it is essential to maintain political support for an agreement to support the advance of negotiations.




Further information please contact:

John Healey MP, Chair of APPG on EU-US Trade & Investment

Contact: James Hall

Guto Bebb MP, Secretary of APPG on EU-US Trade & Investment

Contact: Siwan Puw

Elisabeth Roderburg, Secretariat of APPG on EU-US Trade & Investment

TTIP Adviser BritishAmericanBusiness


If you wish to join the APPG and receive the regular bulletins, please contact Siwan Puw in Guto Bebb’s office

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