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The Transatlantic marriage – renewing vows for the 21st century

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On June 19th, US President Obama, European Commission President Barroso and European Council President Van Rompuy expressed strong support for a “bold initiative to expand trade and investment could make a significant contribution to our strategy to strengthen growth and create jobs”. The endorsement, on the margins of the G20 meeting in Los Cabos Mexico, was delivered on the occasion of the presentation of the interim report of the EU – US High Level Working Group on jobs and growth. This working group was created during the last EU – US summit in November 2011 by EU and US leaders and tasked to identify policies and measures to increase trade and investment to support mutually beneficial job creation, economic growth, and competitiveness.

In its interim report, the working group reached the preliminary conclusion that a comprehensive agreement that addresses a broad range of bilateral trade and investment policies as well as issues of common concern with respect to third countries would, if achievable, provide the most significant benefit of the various options considered. The report states that a comprehensive agreement could include ambitious reciprocal market opening in goods, services, and investment, and address the challenges of modernising trade rules and enhancing the compatibility of regulatory regimes. The political endorsement by both EU and US leaders and their call for a final report before year’s end is a strong indication for growing momentum towards an new spark in the Transatlantic marriage.

Intel support for an ambitious, reinvigorated transatlantic partnership

Intel strongly welcomes these developments and calls for both governments to keep up the political momentum. Peter Cleveland, Intel’s global Vice President for public policy, highlighted the importance of a strong Transatlantic economic relationship for a global company like Intel during a trip last week to Brussels.

Peter Cleveland Euractiv interview

As outlined by Mr. Cleveland in various events in Brussels, both parties should keep an open mind and craft a 21st century agreement that not only addresses the traditional areas of tariffs and regulatory convergence but also serves as a beacon towards third countries. “A strong agreement between the EU and US with regards to cooperation on rules and principles on global issues of common concern will send a strong signal that the EU and US are sharing the same objectives and guiding principles to jointly address market access concerns that are currently spreading across the world” according to Mr Cleveland.

Joint responsibility

The report indicates the need for continued consultation with public and private stakeholders to further analyze the different components of a comprehensive transatlantic agreement and to be able to make a final recommendation end of year. Intel will continue to work to this end with governments and other industry stakeholders to provide additional input and build momentum towards a renewed Transatlantic marriage, ready to address 21st century challenges.