U.S. Chamber, Europe Business Group Welcome U.S-EU Free Trade Talks

February 14, 2013

In a joint statement the U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue and the President of BUSINESSEUROPE Jürgen R. Thumann welcomed the release of the final report of the U.S.-EU High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth, which calls for negotiation of a comprehensive bilateral trade, investment and regulatory cooperation agreement.

BUSINESSEUROPE was formed in 1958. The organization represents small, medium and large companies, including 41 industrial and employers’ federations from 35 European countries, whose goal is to work together to achieve growth and competitiveness in Europe.

Donohue said: “For the sake of jobs and growth, it’s time to forge a bold, new trade pact with Europe. The Chamber applauds the U.S. and European officials who worked tirelessly to clear a path forward for an ambitious and comprehensive agreement. The stars are finally aligned, and we urge the U.S. and EU governments to move forward swiftly to negotiate a high-standard agreement that will foster economic growth and job creation for all our citizens.”

Thumann added: “The world’s two largest trading partners are ready to launch negotiations for an unprecedented trade deal that will benefit us all. An EU-US agreement presents an unmatchable opportunity to boost competitiveness, jobs and growth that are needed in our economies. This report is a first big step by the EU and US authorities to bring our economies closer together and I would like to thank Karel De Gucht and Ron Kirk [U.S trade representative] for the great work done so far. Now a new challenge is at hand and we are ready to assist our governments to get this deal done quickly.”

The statement also noted that both the Chamber and BUSINESSEUROPE “have long called jointly for a transatlantic agreement to eliminate tariffs, ensure compatible regulatory regimes, and address investment, services, and procurement. Eliminating tariffs alone would boost U.S.-EU trade by more than $120 billion within five years.

“In November 2012, Donohue and Thumann, along with the CEOs of 13 other major U.S. and European business associations, sent a letter to U.S. President Obama, President of the European Commission José-Manuel Barroso, and President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy underscoring the broad support of the transatlantic business community for their work to deepen the transatlantic economic relationship.

“Last year, the Chamber brought together a broad array of businesses to form the Business Coalition for Transatlantic Trade (BCTT). The coalition seeks an ambitious and comprehensive agreement to support jobs and promote growth and competitiveness on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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