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Brussels, 8th May, 2008

Second TEC meeting to further strengthen EU/US economic integration

The Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) will meet for the second time in Brussels on 13th May. The Council was created at the EU/US Summit in Washington in April 2007 to foster transatlantic economic integration and aims to achieve better regulation, barrier-free and secure trade, protection of intellectual property rights, and integration of financial markets. TEC commitment to strengthening economic cooperation is demonstrated by the impressive list of items to be discussed at its second meeting of TEC on Tuesday. The EU delegation is chaired by Vice President Günter Verheugen and includes the following Commissioners Peter Mandelson (Trade), László Kovács (Taxation and Customs Union), Meglena Kuneva (Consumer Protection) and Charlie McCreevy (Internal Market and Services). Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and Ambassador Susan Schwab are among the members of the US delegation. Dan Price, Assistant to President George Bush for International Economic Affairs, will lead the delegation The TEC will also meet the group of advisors which includes representatives of the legislative, consumers and business dialogues.

The following items will be discussed in depth at the plenary:

  • Steady progress in a number of areas of regulatory co-operation including in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and animal testing areas.
  • The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration will report on steps towards allowing the use of supplier’s declaration of conformity for electrical, electronic and information and communication technology (ICT) products.
  • The EU will present the progress report on the use of pathogen reduction treatment for poultry in the EU. Other items include EU progress report on acceptance of US accounting standards, discussion of US and EU regulatory issues in the insurance sector, enhancing market access for broker-dealers, exchanges and other trading systems.
  • The EU and US will adopt a joint statement on open investment and welcome the imminent start of the second phase of negotiations of the air services agreement.
  • An extensive list of issues that are solved or where progress has been substantial includes the areas of secure trade, suppliers' declaration of conformity, auto safety and internet protection for consumers.

A press conference will be held on Tuesday May 13 at 16.45 in the main press room of the Berlaymont building of the European Commission in order to inform about the results of the meeting.

Background TEC

The TEC was created by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President George W. Bush to foster transatlantic economic integration at the EU/US Summit in Washington in April 2007. The TEC has several permanent members: on the European side, the Commissioners for External Relations, for Trade, and for the Internal Market and Financial Services, and on the US side, the Secretaries of the Treasury and Commerce and the US Trade Representative.

The Transatlantic Economic Council aims to make transatlantic cooperation more transparent and provides a channel for stakeholders to make their views known. This is why the TEC will meet with its Group of Advisers, who are tasked with articulating the views of citizens, consumers and producers on both sides of the Atlantic on the priorities that should be pursued.

For more information see IP/07/587

Background EU-US economic relations

The EU/US economic partnership is the deepest and largest bilateral trade and investment relationship in the world. Trade flows across the Atlantic are running at around €1.7 billion a day. The EU is home to almost 70% of total outward US investment. In 2005, American companies invested four times as much in Belgium as they did in China the following year.

Some facts:

  • Annual bilateral trade: € 620 billion
  • Combined trade: 40% of world trade
  • Combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP): 60% of world GDP
  • Bilateral investment flows provide 14 million jobs

More information

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