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BELGIUM: New CLEPA CEO cites TTIP benefits for automotive

By Simon Warburton | 28 October 2014

New CLEPA CEO Paul Schockmel on FIEVs Paris Motor Show stand

New CLEPA CEO Paul Schockmel on FIEV's Paris Motor Show stand

European supplier body, CLEPA's new CEO, Paul Schockmel, says he believes the automotive sector is well-poised to secure the benefits of any Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The gigantic deal - if secured - has the potential to create what could be the world's largest free trade zone saving hundreds of millions of dollars.

Schockmel, installed this summer as chief of the 113-strong Brussels organisation, is continuing CLEPA's public support of the global deal offered by his predecessor Jean-Marc Gales, now CEO at Lotus in the UK.

CLEPA has previously cited some key areas in the long-wished for goal of harmonisation, namely, which standards on both sides of the Atlantic can be recognised as equivalent.

This can include agreeing on products and innovations such as safety systems and autonomous emergency braking.

Equally, what will be the process of mutually defining innovations and setting common standards, will be a benchmark evaluation.

"Of course we do also talk about TTIP," Schockmel told just-auto. "I would say there is the desire from all sides to progress on this.

"For the simple reason we believe we are one of the first sectors that worked globally - where that word 'globally' has been used by everyone. We would like to do more work. We have a huge market in the US, Japan and Europe.

"If there is one sector that could make fast progress, then it is automotive. Of all the Continents [Europe] are agreeing on all topics. We want harmonisation, we want trade barriers eliminated or a least lowered. We have the desire to be the first one to make progress.

"We are investing a lot in harmonisation and it costs a lot of money."