VDMA: ‘At last, the American entry restrictions are being lifted’

8 November 2021

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VDMA, the German machinery manufacturers association, has spoken out about the lifting of American entry restrictions for Germany and other Schengen countries.

"At last, the American entry restrictions are being lifted. This means that business travel between Europe and the USA is returning to normal mode and leaving the pandemic behind. However, one drawback remains: the entry status for those who have recovered is not explicitly regulated; officially, only vaccinated persons with an additional test are allowed to enter the country. Clarity is urgently needed here,” said Ulrich Ackermann, head of Foreign Trade, VDMA.

The USA is still the largest export market and investment location for mechanical and plant engineering. Therefore, the travel bans were a particular challenge for many business travellers from Germany and other Schengen countries.

Admittedly, the US government had issued entry permits for technical specialists who install and maintain critical infrastructure in the USA. But for most business people, it has been impossible to enter the US over the past 18 months.

 Company representatives from Germany and Europe, for example, were not even allowed to visit their own subsidiaries or participate in important American trade fairs. Others had to cancel their participation in important industry conferences or had to postpone the acquisition of a US company.

All in all, the entry ban has prevented many mechanical engineering companies from working the US market as they would have liked to.

“Mechanical engineering is ready to make its contribution to America's major tasks: coping with climate change and modernizing the infrastructure. For that, we need open borders," added Ackermann.