The White House, Office of the Press Secretary
June 26, 2004
U.S.-EU Summit: Continuing Our Cooperation to Expand Transatlantic Trade
"Open trade is not just an economic opportunity, it is a moral imperative. Trade creates jobs for the unemployed. When we negotiate for open markets, we are providing new hope for the world's poor."
President George W. Bush
Today, President Bush and EU leaders:
Directed their trade ministers, in cooperation with other WTO members, to finalize framework agreements in the WTO's Doha trade negotiations by the end of July, in order to further enhance the conditions for sustained global economic growth; and
Welcomed the continued progress in reducing impediments to transatlantic commerce and expanded regulatory cooperation.
Doha Negotiations and the Global Economy: President Bush believes that trade liberalization is critical to boosting global prosperity, generating sustained economic growth, and raising living standards. Emphasizing the need to seek an ambitious outcome in the WTO's Doha negotiations, President Bush and his EU counterparts reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate with other WTO members to finalize framework agreements in the Doha trade negotiations by the end of July in order to expeditiously complete these negotiations and further enhance the conditions for sustained global economic growth. President Bush and his EU counterparts also:
Emphasized the need to focus on the core areas of the Doha negotiations; and
Underscored that we are on the verge of an historic opportunity to fundamentally reform trade in agriculture and noted that progress in the agriculture negotiations will be essential to move the other core areas of the negotiations forward.
While the United States and the EU are working to advance WTO negotiations, both the United States and the EU have had laws and other measures challenged under WTO dispute settlement procedures. President Bush intends to comply with final WTO rulings against U.S. measures, such as in the FSC/ETI case where the Bush Administration continues to work closely with the U.S. Congress. The United States is currently awaiting EU action to comply with the WTO ruling in the beef hormone case, as well as awaiting a WTO ruling against the EU moratorium on biotech approvals.
The cooperation with the EU on WTO Doha negotiations is part of President Bush's broader effort to open markets globally, regionally, and bilaterally. In addition to the global efforts in the WTO Doha negotiations and the Free Trade Area of the Americas encompassing the Western Hemisphere, the Bush Administration has negotiated or is negotiating comprehensive, high-quality free trade agreements (FTAs) with partners in every region of the globe. The Bush Administration has completed bilateral or sub-regional FTA negotiations with 11 countries, and is in the process of negotiating agreements with 11 others. These new and pending FTA partners would constitute America's third largest export market and the sixth largest economy in the world. In addition, the United States provides one of the most generous trade preference programs in the world, including the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which has spurred enhanced trade between the United States and the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.
Positive Economic Agenda: President Bush and his EU counterparts welcomed the ongoing cooperation as part of the "Positive Economic Agenda." The United States and the European Union share the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship in the world, accounting for over $1.5 trillion. In order to ensure that this critically important economic relationship continues to thrive, President Bush and his EU counterparts established in 2002 the "Positive Economic Agenda" to advance bilateral cooperation to reduce trade frictions and foster expanded transatlantic commerce.
Regulatory Cooperation: Recognizing that regulatory differences, not tariffs, comprise the most significant remaining transatlantic trade barriers, President Bush and his EU counterparts welcomed the U.S.-EU Regulatory Cooperation Roadmap. This Roadmap builds on the 2002 U.S.-EU Guidelines for Regulatory Cooperation in which the European Commission undertook to make its regulatory process more transparent. The Regulatory Cooperation Roadmap provides a framework for U.S. and EU officials to cooperate on a broad range of important areas such as pharmaceuticals, auto safety, information and communications technology, cosmetics, consumer product safety, chemicals, nutritional labeling, and eco-design of electrical/electronic products. Through targeted U.S.-EU regulatory consultations, we aim to promote better quality regulation, minimize regulatory divergences, and facilitate transatlantic commerce.
Financial Markets Regulatory Dialogue: President Bush and his EU counterparts welcomed a joint report from U.S. and EU officials participating in the Financial Markets Regulatory Dialogue. The report describes the ongoing collaboration of U.S. and EU policy and regulatory officials on corporate governance and financial market regulation. The Dialogue, launched in 2002, provides a forum for discussing bilateral financial and regulatory issues, with a view to fostering an efficient and transparent transatlantic capital market. The Dialogue has, in particular, provided a useful vehicle for ensuring that European legislation not impede U.S. participation in European capital markets. More broadly, with recent efforts to improve corporate governance and financial market regulation, the Dialogue has served a valuable function in enabling U.S. and EU regulators to work on potential regulatory issues in a cooperative and timely fashion.