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.
Notes to Editors:
- 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
- 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