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European manufacturers of industrial products usually have to prove that they meet US safety and technical requirements when they export to the US, and vice versa when they import goods from the US to Europe. The European Commission states that this is an expensive and complex obstacle to the export of goods, especially for smaller companies. It has therefore proposed an agreement under which the EU and the US would accept the conformity assessment results of each other’s assessment bodies. This would enable companies to seek certification in their own country, making common trade quicker and cheaper. The agreement is expected to cover all relevant industrial sectors, in particular machinery and electrical and electronic equipment.

According to the Federation of German Industries (BDI) , German industry plays a key role in the US: More than 10% of foreign direct investment in the US is said to come from Germany, with most of this going into manufacturing. According to German financial portal gevestor.de, the most important US exports include machinery, computers, electrical technology, and industrial equipment.