Login/Sign up

World Association of International Studies

PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post Dutch NTTBs: Camping Equipment and Boats
Created by John Eipper on 07/17/18 4:41 AM

Previous posts in this discussion:

Post

Dutch NTTBs: Camping Equipment and Boats (Timothy Brown, USA, 07/17/18 4:41 am)

I appreciate Eugenio Battaglia's comments of July 15

Phytosanitary measures are not just useful. They're vital when they are used to protect lives, not business interests. The problem is when they're allegedly being used to "protect" people but in fact are a tactic to get around a country's treaty obligations.  I'll share two example based solely on hands-on experience.

Early in my years in Amsterdam as a Commercial Officer, I visited one of Europe's largest annual trade shows of leisure goods (tents, camping trailers and so forth). Everything on display was first-class. But everything was made in the EU. Not one item was from the US. That caught my attention because the US also produces "leisure goods"--camper-trailers for instance. When I asked why not, I was told "because the brakes on your camper-trailers don't comply with our safety regulations--they're too strong."

The Netherlands, thanks to its canal systems, had more small motorized boats per capita than any other European country. But nothing was from the US. Why? Because they exceeded their safety requirements. When I contacted a few Dutch companies that were selling "Euro Leizure-goods" they seemed surprised. So we helped them organize and schedule a visit by a trade delegation to leisure goods manufactures and wholesalers in the US. When they returned I asked several whether it had been worthwhile. It turned out that they had placed large orders on the spot.

The EU's "Safety Regulations" were, in fact, a NTTB, non-tariff barrier, erected not to protect the public but to protect European producers from "non-European" imports. The next year, about 20% of everything on display was made in the USA. They hadn't been protecting their people. They'd been using NNTBs to protect their own manufacturers from foreign competition.

Oh, and on "boats: The next year, a very large US-made luxury boat was on display. When I asked how sales were going, at first I was told they'd not sold a single boat. They were there just for PR. After a time they admitted they'd signed contracts for a number of their boats and paid for in cash and delivered in another EU country. Maybe the Netherlands was also using NTTBs to keep our "foreign boats," for the same reason: To protect their domestic builders--not their people.

JE comments:  Ah, the horrors of brakes that stop too well!

Tim, a tangential question:  why are the Dutch so obsessed with camping?  When you see a car pulling a pop-up trailer in Europe, chances are it has an NL sticker.  (This is based on my "scientific" poll of personal observation.)  I'm also struck by how the Nederlanders cheerfully tug massive loads with tiny cars.  In the US you need a Ford F350 "dualie" or equivalent to haul a bag of dog food.  Must be the braking requirements.

This is probably NOT the Netherlands. (Source: https://tinyhausadventure.wordpress.com)



SHARE:
Rate this post
Informational value 
Insight 
Fairness 
Reader Ratings (0)
0%
Informational value0%
Insight0%
Fairness0%

Visits: 109

Comments/Replies

Please login/register to reply or comment: Login/Sign up

  • "The Brakes are Too Strong": NTTBs and Politics (Cameron Sawyer, Russia 07/18/18 3:45 AM)
    Timothy Brown (July 17th) reflected on a leisure-equipment trade show he attended in the Netherlands:

    "When I asked why [there was no US-made equipment at the show], I was told ‘because the brakes on your camper-trailers don't comply with our safety regulations--they're too strong.'"


    Well, someone was pulling Tim's leg.  The idea that a camper van can't get a CE mark because the brakes are too strong was a joke. Safety standards aren't written that way, of course. The point of the joke, which I believe Tim missed, was that neither US nor EU safety standards are significantly better than each other, just different, and requiring separate certification, and are horribly bureaucratic, so that what is obviously a perfectly good camping van (it's allowed to be sold in the US, after all) can't be sold in the EU, because it doesn't meet different standards which are not obviously better or more stringent, just different. What Tim heard was a kind of cri du coeur against bureaucratic overregulation, made by a businessman who suffers under it.


    Non-tariff trade barriers exist, of course, but it is really absurd to imagine that other countries have safety standards, different from ours, solely for the purpose of keeping out US goods, rather than for furthering safety according to their own ideas. Both the US and the EU have their own sets of very complex and bureaucratized product safety and environmental standards, which are expensive and time-consuming to comply with. Goods sold in the EU have to be CE marked to indicate compliance with these regulations. US manufacturers are not as a whole as export-savvy as those of many other countries, partially because of our mentality, but also because we have a huge internal market which is usually enough for most manufacturers without having to deal with pesky "furrin" safety standards, which are strange, and different from our own pesky standards. To sell into both markets, you have to considerably redesign the product to meet the other set of standards.


    That principle applies absolutely equally to EU manufacturers selling into the US market. For example, for decades, the US maintained more stringent environmental standards for cars than existed in Europe, which were extremely expensive and burdensome for European manufacturers to meet. Were they "environmental standards" and not environmental standards, enacted solely for the purpose of keeping out European cars? Of course not--we had our own ideas about how clean cars should be, which were different from European ideas. The same thing with European safety standards.


    As I said, non-tariff trade barriers surely exist, and should be eliminated, but we'll never get anywhere with that project if you assume that our own safety standards are so perfect and so awesome that other countries in the rest of the world have no right to their own safety standards, which may be different in some respects from ours, not to mention their own certification procedures like the CE mark.


    If we want the EU to accept goods made to US safety standards, then the only way to do that is to harmonize those standards, as has already been done throughout Europe under the EU, one of the EU's main purposes (promoting free trade by harmonizing all kinds of standards). It's a little bit frightening to imagine our own sprawling bureaucracies joining forces with the EU ones, but I doubt if it would change much--our standards and certification procedures are already equally byzantine and bureaucratized.


    JE comments:  Regarding cars, the US is still mired in regulations that prohibit many of the newer and better headlight technologies--European and Asian lights are indeed "too strong."  From the other perspective, the new Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 cannot be sold in Europe because the engine hood/bonnet is "too high."  It doesn't meet the EU's pedestrian-safety standards. 


    So in America, you might be run over by a Corvette, but at least it won't blind you first.

    Please login/register to reply or comment:


Trending Now



All Forums with Published Content (41979 posts)

- Unassigned

Culture & Language

American Indians Art Awards Bestiary of Insults Books Conspiracy Theories Culture Ethics Film Food Futurology Gender Issues Humor Intellectuals Jews Language Literature Media Coverage Movies Music Newspapers Numismatics Philosophy Plagiarism Prisons Racial Issues Sports Tattoos Western Civilization World Communications

Economics

Capitalism Economics International Finance World Bank World Economy

Education

Education Hoover Institution Journal Publications Libraries Universities World Bibliography Series

History

Biographies Conspiracies Crime Decline of West German Holocaust Historical Figures History Holocausts Individuals Japanese Holocaust Leaders Learning Biographies Learning History Russian Holocaust Turkish Holocaust

Nations

Afghanistan Africa Albania Algeria Argentina Asia Australia Austria Bangladesh Belgium Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Central America Chechnya Chile China Colombia Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark East Europe East Timor Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England Estonia Ethiopia Europe European Union Finland France French Guiana Germany Greece Guatemala Haiti Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran (Persia) Iraq Ireland Israel/Palestine Italy Japan Jordan Kenya Korea Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Latin America Liberia Libya Mali Mexico Middle East Mongolia Morocco Namibia Nations Compared Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria North America Norway Pacific Islands Pakistan Palestine Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Polombia Portugal Romania Saudi Arabia Scandinavia Scotland Serbia Singapore Slovakia South Africa South America Southeast Asia Spain Sudan Sweden Switzerland Syria Thailand The Pacific Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan UK (United Kingdom) Ukraine USA (America) USSR/Russia Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam West Europe Yemen Yugoslavia Zaire

Politics

Balkanization Communism Constitutions Democracy Dictators Diplomacy Floism Global Issues Hegemony Homeland Security Human Rights Immigration International Events Law Nationalism NATO Organizations Peace Politics Terrorism United Nations US Elections 2008 US Elections 2012 US Elections 2016 Violence War War Crimes Within the US

Religion

Christianity Hinduism Islam Judaism Liberation Theology Religion

Science & Technology

Alcohol Anthropology Automotives Biological Weapons Design and Architecture Drugs Energy Environment Internet Landmines Mathematics Medicine Natural Disasters Psychology Recycling Research Science and Humanities Sexuality Space Technology World Wide Web (Internet)

Travel

Geography Maps Tourism Transportation

WAIS

1-TRIBUTES TO PROFESSOR HILTON 2001 Conference on Globalizations Academic WAR Forums Ask WAIS Experts Benefactors Chairman General News Member Information Member Nomination PAIS Research News Ronald Hilton Quotes Seasonal Messages Tributes to Prof. Hilton Varia Various Topics WAIS WAIS 2006 Conference WAIS Board Members WAIS History WAIS Interviews WAIS NEWS waisworld.org launch WAR Forums on Media & Research Who's Who