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Deutsche Post DHL sees opportunities in US-EU free trade pact

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Deutsche Post DHL is backing attempts by European and American leaders to establish a trade agreement between the United States and the European Union.

The express delivery and logistics giant said today that a transatlantic free trade zone would bring big opportunities for businesses in Europe and the US, driving economic growth and innovation.

European trade ministers meet tomorrow to attempt to sign off the EU’s negotiating position with the United States in the complex trade talks.

Deutsche Post DHL said it believes if the free trade deal is successful, it would produce “at the very least” an additional 1% of economic growth in both regions.

“The opportunity is there for the taking, and we should do everything in our power to seize it,” said Frank Appel, the Deutsche Post DHL chief executive.

Appel said the free trade agreement should bring a standardization of business rules between Europe and America, and the elimination of barriers to investment and market entry.

He also suggested that a free trade zone would bring more than just commercial gains.

“In a closer partnership, we would have an opportunity to jointly tackle the world’s most pressing problems today – climate change and sustainable globalization that creates participation opportunities for more and more people around the world,” he said.

Core market

Deutsche Post DHL chief executive Frank Appel sees opportunities for growth in a US-EU free trade zone

Appel said the United States is a core market for Deutsche Post DHL, where the company’s express division is focusing on time-definite international shipping services having pulled out of domestic US business in 2009.

DHL Express now has a daily revenue of more than EUR 3m shipping more than 50,000 items each day. Along with DHL Global Mail’s national and international postal services in the US and DHL’s logistics and supply chain divisions, the company’s revenues from the United States grew by more than a third to more than EUR 1bn last year.

Deutsche Post DHL employs more than 35,000 people at more than 800 locations in the US. The company is investing in its operations there, opening a new air freight centre at Miami airport last year while expanding its air hub near Cincinnati in a $100m project.

Appel said the US was a “central link” in the DHL global network.

“In 2012, we generated double-digit growth in our U.S. revenues. We produce more than 10% of our consolidated revenues there,” he said. “Given the country’s economic strength, our leading market position and targeted growth initiatives in all DHL divisions, we see tremendous potential for successfully growing our company in the US market.”

The EU-US trade relationship is already the biggest in the world, with EUR 2bn of goods and services traded between them each day.

The European Union and the United States agreed to open trade talks back in February 2013 with a view to a possible Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The proposal would go beyond removing trade tariffs and opening markets to investment, by looking to align trade rules and product standards.

Officials believe the trade agreement could add EUR 86bn of annual income to the EU economy and EUR 65bn to the US economy by 2027. Hopes are for talks to be concluded by November 2014.

The project has the strong backing of the Obama White House in the United States, and countries in the EU including Britain, but the trade deal is far from straightforward.

France has raised objections to the deal, concerned about aspects including the impact on its culture from the US entertainment industry.

Source: Post&Parcel/Deutsche Post DHL

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