Carmakers can't blame trade for their problems, EU says

BRUSSELS, July 18 Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:03am EDT

BRUSSELS, July 18 (Reuters) - Europe's struggling carmakers must reform their industry and cannot place the blame for falling sales on European trade deals with fast-growing Asia, the EU's trade chief said on Wednesday.

"We have to sort this out independently of free-trade agreements," EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht told a news briefing. "Let's not try to find a scapegoat somewhere," he said.

"We are trying to open markets for our industries and industries must make sure there is a demand for their products," De Gucht said. "That is a very fundamental rule in trade. If you look at the automotive sector, then you see why this is a fundamental truth." (Reporting by Robin Emmott; editing by Rex Merrifield)

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