Smarter Driver: Safety differences between the EU and US
Cooley On Cars
It's called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
It's being negotiated now between the US and the European Union, and seeks to increase the ease of trade between the two regions.
By addressing tariffs, yes.
But more interestingly, by normalizing product standards between the two markets.
No product is subject to more standards than automobile.
One of the biggest [INAUDIBLE] was if we test US European cars, and find that they're basically equivalent, if not equal in terms of safety standards.
We can call it a wash and let them cross markets.
And that would avoid expensive re-engineering and recertification of every car before it can be sold in the other market.
Now stubborn differences between the two markets have existed for a long time.
I mean, automotively, just look at the first Jaguar E-Type.
The Series 1 had these lovely glass-covered headlights.
By late '67 those were gone, thanks to US regulations, and the car never looked quite the same again.
Same goes for those five mile per hour hideous US bumpers that luckily never got adopted in the EU.
But this is not some battle for the aesthetic high ground.
In fact, it's a battle for the dollar high ground.
The Atlantic Counsel estimates that US car makers could go from shipping about thirteen billion dollar of cars into the EU market to nearly eighty five billion dollars by twenty twenty seven, and by the way, automotive would be the biggest single industry to benefit from this normalizing process.
So for now auto makers are saying this study needs more study while the European Transport Safety Counsel says maybe we should leave cars out of the negotiation.
One thing's for sure, regulators can now agree that it pays to double check if cars that seem equivalent in very similar markets really are.
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