Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bilateral trade: EU Trade Chief in Washington to Foster Transatlantic Trade Ties

SOURCE Delegation of the European Union to the United States

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht is in Washington, DC, today and tomorrow, June 20-21, for meetings with representatives of the US Administration, Congress and the business community. Discussions will focus on the way forward in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) of international trade talks and the further development of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) as a key instrument of transatlantic relations.

Commissioner De Gucht will meet with Deputy National Security Advisor Michael Froman and US Trade Representative Ron Kirk on June 21. Both play a central role in defining US trade policy and Commissioner De Gucht will make the case for a successful conclusion of the DDA and concrete delivery of results by the TEC. The TEC received a strong boost at its meeting in December 2010 and implementation as well as preparation of this year's meeting is in full swing. The fostering of bilateral relations and notably investment will be central elements of the visit, which also includes a key-note address to the US Chamber of Commerce.

Following his visit to Washington, DC, Commissioner De Gucht will travel to Guatemala to represent the European Union at the International Central America Security Strategy Conference. Commissioner De Gucht will finish his trip in Costa Rica.


The Transatlantic Economic Council

The TEC was created in 2007 and has the task to oversee, guide and accelerate the implementation of work designed to closer integrate the EU and US economies. The TEC brings together those Members of the European Commission and US Cabinet who carry the political responsibility for closer economic ties. It covers areas like regulatory cooperation, innovation, secure trade and e-mobility.

The TEC is co-chaired by the EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht on the EU side and Michael Froman, US Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs, on the US side. At the last TEC meeting, which took place on December 17, 2010 in Washington, DC, an ambitious cooperation agenda was agreed. The next TEC meeting will most likely take place in the second half of 2011.

EU-US Trade Relations

The link between the EU and US economies remains strong. Despite the crisis, it is the strongest in the world. The EU and the US are each other's main trading partners. Trade in goods amounts to around more than 1 billion euros every day, reaching 411 billion euros in 2010. The EU and the US absorb about 20 percent of each other's exports in goods, and about 30 percent of each other's exports in services. Total FDI stocks held in each others countries reach approximately 2.1 trillion euros, unrivalled in size and depth compared to any other investment relationship in the world. The overall "transatlantic workforce" is estimated at up to 15 million people, of which roughly half are Americans who owe their jobs directly or indirectly to EU companies.

For further information:

On bilateral trade relations with the United States and on the TEC: