Ford Europe chief Stuart Rowley has written an open letter to the trade ministers of a number of EU states to express concerns over trade arrangements between Europe and other parts of the world, with a particular focus on Mexico – where Ford makes the Mustang Mach-E which is now being launched in Europe.
Under current trade arrangements finished vehicles imported to the EU bloc and not covered by any other bilateral trade agreement attract a 10% tariff.
Ford of Europe president Stuart Rowley said in his letter that he wants to see a proactive European trade policy and believes there is “much we can improve”.
Rowley welcomed the recognition from the European Commission of the need to create the conditions for the ratification of agreements with Mercosur and Mexico, but added that “now is the time to turn those words into actions”.
“I commented last year that economic growth in Europe could be boosted if the EU would finalize several free trade agreements that are tantalizingly close to completion — and are ready and waiting to be implemented following years of negotiations — but are still awaiting final ratification and sign-off,” Rowley said.
“I wrote, in particular, about the EU—Mexico Free Trade Agreement. Political agreement was first reached in 2018, followed by a further detailed deal more than a year ago. It is a modern agreement, with sustainability objectives and new technology, such as electric vehicles and batteries, at its heart. Yet, three years on, it remains stuck in ‘no man’s land’, mired in a complex ratification process.”
Rowley also pointed out that Ford has an interest in this particular free trade agreement as “we are exporting Polish-built batteries to be assembled in our Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle, assembled in Mexico and currently launching in Europe. But the point remains that this deal is ready to be done, alongside other pending agreements.”
Rowley called for “greater urgency and to show the EU’s ambition to reach out internationally and use trade to help kickstart the global economy”.
“We have the EU-Mexico agreement quite literally in the bag. Let’s get on with it and the other close to completion trade deals to help support the economic recovery,” he said.