New York, N.Y., February 13, 2013 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) welcomed the announcement by President Obama and European Union leaders that the United States and the EU will soon launch negotiations toward a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
“We applaud this move, which has the potential to further expand and reinforce the world’s largest two-way commercial relationship, and solidify our historic strong ties with Europe,” said USCIB President Peter M. Robinson. “We urge negotiators to strive for a high-standards, 21st-century trade and investment agreement.”
In his State of the Union Address last night, Obama said the U.S. “will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.” The call followed the release of a report by a joint U.S.-EU High Level Working Group outlining the significant benefits of a transatlantic pact for growth and jobs in both the United States and Europe. The U.S. and the EU together account for almost half the world’s GDP and 30 percent of world trade.
USCIB is especially pleased that the High-Level Working Group’s report identified several new trade and investment issues as priorities for action in a transatlantic agreement. These include leveling the playing field with respect to state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and forced-localization measures that can distort trade and investment. Robinson said USCIB “will work with both the U.S. and EU on a broad range of areas where we can bring substantive expertise, especially investment, environment, labor and customs, and also addressing anti-competitive policies such as SOEs and localization barriers.” This will include working as part of the steering group of the Business Coalition for Transatlantic Trade.
Robinson acknowledged that negotiations would not be easy. “There are a broad range of regulatory issues to address in a comprehensive U.S.-EU trade and investment agreement,” he said. “We must aim high, striving to use this historic opportunity to modernize existing regulation affecting trade and investment, while creating new and better rules that will set a global example for other countries.
“In the end, a transatlantic agreement must reflect the fact that cross-border trade and investment are closely intertwined and mutually supportive. This is why we need a comprehensive, high-standards agreement.”
Last November, USCIB submitted a statement on promoting regulatory compatibility between the U.S. and EU, outlining areas where further regulatory coherence and cooperation is needed to deepen and enhance the transatlantic economic relationship.
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at www.uscib.org.
Jonathan Huneke, USCIB
+1 212.703.5043, firstname.lastname@example.org