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EAMA - Engineering & Machinery Alliance Press release

Wednesday 17 January 2007

 

Engineering alliance takes up metric issue in the UK and Europe

 

Working on behalf of UK SME engineering firms, the Engineering and Machinery Alliance (EAMA) has asked Industry Minister Margaret Hodge to fight the possible ban on the use of imperial measures in literature and on products. This ban could come in from 2010 and would apply to products destined for EU and non-EU markets.

Having joined the powerful Europe-wide engineering lobbying organisation Orgalime, EAMA is already lobbying on this issue in Brussels.

EAMA chairman Graham Hayes: “We had an extremely sympathetic hearing from the minister and were able to discuss ways to mitigate some of the unintended consequences of policy on our members. The metric issue is one, where for example it would make it much more difficult for us to export to the USA. The others were family friendly policies, manufacturing’s poor investment record, regionalisation and regulation/red tape. We expect to progress each of these areas over the next 12 months.

“However, as the metric directive demonstrates, so much of the legislation affecting our companies starts off in Brussels that members have said they want EAMA to become involved there.

“Orgalime are well resourced and well respected. They represent over a quarter of all EU manufacturing. That level of membership helps to open doors at the Commission and other institutions. It also creates the necessary pressure for high quality analysis and strong policy engagement, which is what we want to be able to offer our members.”

EU engineering sector turnover topped £1,000 billion in 2004, employing 10 million people and accounting for nearly a third of all the EU’s manufactured exports going outside the Union.

In all, Orgalime has 36 members from 24 countries. UK mechanical engineering employs about 9% of the EU workforce and produces 11% of the added value.

(ends)

Notes to Editors:

  1. EAMA’s eight member associations are: British Automation and Robot Association (BARA), British Paper Machinery Suppliers Association (BPMSA), British Plastics Federation (BPF), British Turned Part Manufacturers Association (BTMA), Gauge and Toolmakers Association (GTMA), Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA), Printing, Papermaking and Converting Suppliers Association (PICON), Processing and Packaging Machinery Association (PPMA).
  2. UK mechanical engineering comprises approximately 13,000 companies with a combined turnover of £32 billion and has run a positive trade balance each year for the UK for the last ten years of around £4 billion.