Free trade is a necessity for affordable mobility for all, says Continental
Free trade instead of trade wars. This was the appeal aimed at policy makers made by Continental CEO, Elmar Degenhart, at the technology company’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting.
“Protectionism and trade wars make our products more expensive. For example, unequal tariffs are hurting the free trade of cars between the U.S.A. and Europe. The best solution is to abolish them completely or bring them into line at the lowest level. We are calling for policy makers to enter into negotiations. We expect them to work hard for fair, free trade. Artificially inflating prices reduces national income and in doing so puts jobs and prosperity at risk,” warned Degenhart in Hanover at the Shareholders’ Meeting.
Degenhart underlined the importance of the free flow of goods for his own company. For example, the Automotive divisions of the technology company work with more than 17,000 suppliers and partners across the world. “They handle over 140 billion components a year. On average, they cross national borders four times because they do not reach our customers until they are finished products. Protectionism and trade wars make our products more expensive.”
The Continental CEO pointed out that sales have increased more than sixfold over the past 20 years and operating income is now even twelve times higher. “Our run of success will continue. We are heading for sales of more than €50 billion for 2020. In 2025, we should surpass the threshold of significantly more than €65 billion. And we will do so through organic growth,” emphasized Degenhart.