The White House, Office of the Press Secretary
June 26, 2004
U.S.-EU Summit: Strengthening the Transatlantic Economic Partnership
For over 50 years, the United States and the European Union have committed themselves to an alliance rooted in common values, and dedicated to advancing freedom, security, and prosperity. Though we have achieved important progress in our economic relationship, President Bush and his EU counterparts have agreed to look at new ways to further strengthen our relationship.
The United States and the European Union are each other's largest sources of foreign direct investment, with the 2002 stock of U.S. direct investment in the European Union reaching $700 billion and EU investment in the United States reaching $850 billion. In 2003, two-way transatlantic trade exceeded $390 billion. The total output of U.S. foreign affiliates ($333 billion in 2000) in Europe and of EU affiliates in the United States ($301 billion) is greater than the total GDP of most nations. Investment is good for workers: foreign subsidiaries in the United States and the European Union pay higher wages on average than do domestic companies.
Pursuant to the "U.S.-EU Declaration on Strengthening our Economic Partnership" agreed to by President Bush and his EU counterparts, the United States welcomes and encourages the current lively and creative public debate on both sides of the Atlantic on how to enhance our already strong economic relationship. We will benefit from the advice of business, consumer, and other groups who share President Bush's goal of broad-based growth and economic opportunity. We welcome the recommendations from the Transatlantic Business and Legislator Dialogues concerning the creation of a barrier-free transatlantic market. We also commend the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue for its efforts to forge closer transatlantic ties.
Today President Bush and his EU counterparts agreed to call upon all interested U.S. and EU stakeholders to engage in vigorous discussions over the coming months on how to eliminate trade, regulatory, and investment impediments to further economic integration.
To this end, the United States intends to convene a number of public dialogue sessions and participate in conferences and meetings with the business, consumer, labor, environmental, and academic communities, and other elements of civil society in order to outline proposals for possible adoption by governments. We hope to conduct our first dialogue this summer.
On the basis of stakeholder discussions and proposals, and as called for in the U.S.-EU joint Declaration, the United States will in early 2005 develop its contribution to a forward-looking U.S.-EU strategy to enhance economic growth and eliminate transatlantic barriers. The U.S.-EU Senior Level Group, comprising government officials, will present these ideas to Leaders before the 2005 U.S.-EU Summit.