Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
May 13, 2008
Fact Sheet: Advancing Transatlantic Economic Integration Through the Transatlantic Economic Council
President Bush and His Administration Are Working To Unleash the Potential of the Transatlantic Economy
This week, the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) met for the second time in Brussels, continuing its work to remove barriers to transatlantic trade and investment, and promoting economic integration. The U.S. delegation included Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab, Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Kimmitt, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach, Securities and Exchange Commissioner Paul Atkins, Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs Daniel M. Price, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Susan Dudley and other senior Administration economic officials. The European Union delegation, led by Guenter Verheugen, Vice-President of the European Commission, included Commissioners Peter Mandelson, Charlie McCreevy, Meglena Kuneva, and Laszlo Kovacs, as well as other senior Commission economic officials.
During the course of the meeting, the U.S. and EU officials discussed on-going efforts to promote regulatory cooperation, eliminate barriers to transatlantic trade, advance capital market liberalization, and strengthen support for open investment regimes. The officials agreed to regulatory actions that will remove barriers to the export of U.S. poultry to Europe, minimize certain trade-disruptive impacts of the EU's chemical registration regulation, and facilitate trade in certain electrical equipment, as well as joint efforts to address the safety of imported products. The two delegations also met with Members of the European Parliament and officials from the Transatlantic Business and Transatlantic Consumers Dialogues.
Transatlantic Economic Integration Is Strengthening Economic Relationships
The transatlantic market today accounts for nearly 55 percent of global GDP. Transatlantic economic relations are strong, but can be made even stronger. Both the United States and Europe believe in strong and effective regulation to protect our citizens and the environment. However, in some cases, unnecessary differences in regulatory approaches make our companies less competitive, raise consumer costs, reduce consumer choice, and slow job creation.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and BusinessEurope, achievement of existing TEC goals could generate $10 billion in saved costs and potential growth for the transatlantic economy. The Center for Transatlantic Relations estimates that further integration could have an even more substantial payoff – the equivalent of giving every European and American an entire year's extra salary over their working lifetimes.
At the meeting, the TEC:
The TEC also took note of efforts since its first meeting in November to:
The Framework and the TEC process have accelerated our efforts to advance transatlantic economic integration, which will strengthen our competitiveness and advance the well-being of our consumers. The June 2008 U.S.-EU Summit will further these efforts, and will consider a joint progress report prepared by the TEC, as well as recommendations for new areas of cooperation, including clean energy technologies that will help us address our shared concerns about energy security and climate change.
The TEC was created in April 2007, under the Framework for Advancing Transatlantic Economic Integration signed by President Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso during the U.S.-EU Summit in Washington, DC. The TEC met for the first time last November in Washington, DC. Under the Framework, the TEC is charged with overseeing the work to advance key priorities, including strengthening regulatory cooperation, capital markets integration, investment, innovation, intellectual property rights protection and secure trade.