‘US-EU Working Group on Trade’ Proposed

Written by | Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Karel De Gucht, the European Union’s trade commissioner, proposed the creation of a working group on transatlantic relations between the European Union and the United States during his visit to Prague.
Commissioner’s idea is the first concrete plan to emerge out of lengthy negotiations on the scope and range of the new trade ties between the two economic giants. The talks started in July and have been recently postponed due the unexpected shutdown of the US government. Moreover, both negotiating teams are currently facing censure from the United States trade representative, Michael Froman, due to the existing standards and EU-specific regulations.
Mr. De Gucht addressed Mr. Froman’s criticism saying that in the United States “a beauty contest will flatter no one” and that “neither side will be successful if it seeks to impose its system on the other.” There has been a strong business lobby on both sides of the Atlantic since last year for a regulatory body or a working group that would supervise any newly merging regulation either in the US or in the EU and thus ensure that new legislations are compatible across the Atlantic.
Mr. De Gucht’s proposal for the creation of the ‘Regulatory Cooperation Council’ should fill the void in assessing new rules and standards on both sides before they actually come in force. One of the major goals of the new regulatory body, as designed by the Commissioner, is to enforce US-EU standards on emerging economies, mainly China. In his opinion, these joint rules aim to be widely accepted as global standards.
The regulatory council, Mr. De Gucht emphasized, should be an integral part of a trans-Atlantic effort to “promote greater compatibility of our regimes and accelerate the development of global approaches.”

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