German machinery makers set record for US exports

Jan. 30, 2017

German manufacturers of plastics and rubber machinery have been increasingly successful in exporting their equipment to the U.S. in recent years, setting an all-time record in 2015 with deliveries worth $764.7 million. As a result, for the first time since 2009, the U.S. has supplanted China as the largest purchaser of German machinery, according to the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association of the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA).

Mexico has become an increasingly important destination for German machinery exporters and is now their fourth-most-important market, with deliveries to Mexico increasing 50 percent last year alone. That growth is possible, in part, due to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which dismantled a number of trade barriers.

 Although both the U.S. and Mexico should continue to be major buyers of German equipment in the foreseeable future, policy changes could have a negative impact on the trend. "Existing free trade agreements are of fundamental importance," said Thorsten Kühmann, managing director of Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association of the VDMA. "Any form of protectionism, on the other hand, will be damaging to the business activities of all concerned."