Save European manufacturing, trade bodies tell EU

February 16, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
More than 90 pan-European trade associations – covering everything from footwear through bicycles to nanotechnology – have come together to sign a declaration calling for the European Union to implement an ambitious strategy for re-industrialization and the promotion of manufacturing.

The timing of the appeal seems to be partly driven by a sudden shift to protectionism in the United States and be an attempt to push back against global competition that has severely eroded European manufacturing over several decades.

The semiconductor industry in Europe has suffered more than most from this competition and an inability or unwillingness to find the enormous capital sums required to stay in the game.

The European Semiconductor Industry Association is one of the co-signatories on the declaration, and in a statement said that it was time to "raise the alarm" about global challenges that Europe faces. The statement specifically mentioned efforts to emphasize manufacturing being made in China, India and the United States. 

Without referencing sources ESIA said that between 2000 and 2014 manufacturing's share of total European Union economic output fell from 18.8 percent of GDP to 15.3 percent of GDP and that from 2008 to 2014 about 3.5 million manufacturing jobs had been lost. Despite these losses manufacturing industry still directly employs over 34 million people across

all member states, and indirectly accounts for millions of additional jobs in related sectors, the ESIA said.

The statement said that countries around the world were supporting manufacturing and creating jobs to serve a global market. ESIA referenced the "Make in India" strategy, the "Made in China 2025" strategy and the recent US shift towards "America First."

"What it [European manufacturing industry] now needs is the swift and determined support of the European institutions and the member states to create more jobs and growth in Europe," ESIA said in its statement.

Next: Call to action