Transnational relations between EU and USA (Economic dimension)
Transnational relations between EU and USA
1. EU-US bilateral economic relations ………………………………… page 3
- Diplomatic relations ………………………………………. page 5
- Transatlantic Cooperation ………………………………………. page 5
2. A new Transatlantic agenda ………………………………... page 5
- Promoting peace and stability, democracy and development
around the world ........................................................... page 6
- Responding to global challenges ........................................................... page 6
- Contributing to the expansion of world trade and closer
economic relations ........................................................... page 7
- Building bridges across the Atlantic ...................................................... page 7
3. Cooperation after the new Transatlantic agenda ................................. page 7
4. Relations after 11.th September 2001 ................................................. page 8
- The European response ............................................................ page 8
- Working with United States ............................................................ page 8
5. Conference in Doha ................................................... page 9
6. EU-US Trade Disputes, old and new ................................................ page 9
- 1. Current major cases launched by the Community ............................ page 9
- 2. Property Cases on intellectual rights ................................................ page 10
- 3. Cases dealing with US unilateralism ................................................ page 11
- 4. Current major cases launched against the Community .................... page 11
7. Multilateral Action ............................................... page 12
8. EU Enlargement to strengthen transatlantic partnership ................... page 13
Sources ............................................... page 14
1. EU-US bilateral economic relations
The economies of the European Union and of the United States are becoming more intertwined and interdependent. Particularly over the last decade, this far-reaching and powerful momentum has driven our economies ever further towards the creation of an open and integrated transatlantic marketplace. Businesses on both sides of the Atlantic now invest and produce overseas much more than they export from their national borders. The following figures show that the EU-U.S. economic relationship is not only vital to the health of the global economy but it also directly supports almost 12 million jobs.
The European Union and the United States are the leading players in international trade, accounting for 37% of world merchandise trade, and 45% of world trade in services in 20021. They are also the largest source and destination of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), accounting for 54% of total world inflows and 67% of total world outflows in 2000. Within this framework, the transatlantic bilateral economic relationship is the most important globally, and is both highly advanced and substantially balanced.
The EU and the U.S. are each other’s single largest trading partner (in goods and services), and each other's most important source and destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). In 2002 two way cross-border trade in goods and services (exports and imports) amounted to more than €650 billions (€412 billions in goods and €238 billions in services)2. The EU and the U.S. each account for around 21% of each other’s total trade in goods. It is estimated that trade in high-technology products accounts for 20% of EU/U.S. merchandise trade3. Transatlantic trade represents 39% of EU and 35% of U.S. total cross-border trade in services. In 2001 EU-US trade in services accounted for 36% of total bilateral trade (goods + services), up from 33% in 19884. Trade statistics measure cross-border flows of goods and services and thus provide only a partial measure of the extent of economic integration among economies. They overlook the fact that firms often opt for selling goods and services abroad through their foreign affiliates rather than exporting them from their domestic market. For the U.S.-EU commercial relationship, it is important therefore to take into account other linkages because the two economies are increasingly connected by capital flows, notably FDI, contributing to expand bilateral trade flows.
The EU and U.S. have by far the world's most important bilateral investment relationship, and they are each other's most important source and destination for FDI. In other words, EU and U.S. companies invest more in each other’s economies than they do in any other area of the world. The EU and the U.S. accounted in 2001 for 49% and 46% respectively of each other’s outward FDI flows. The EU accounted for 54% of US inward FDI and the US for 69% of EU inward FDI5.
Over the period 1998-2001 the US was the destination of 52% of EU outward FDI flows and the source of 61% of EU inward FDI. Nearly three-quarters of all foreign investment in the U.S. in the 1990s came from Europe (US$659 billion). Levels of FDI flows between the EU
1 These figures do not include intra-EU trade.
2 Data for services are provisional.
and the U.S. are therefore substantially greater than trade levels. The importance of the EU-U.S. investment relationship is similarly demonstrated by the level of FDI stocks, with each of the two sides being the other's largest investor. By 2001, cross investment stocks between the EU and the U.S. reached (on a historical cost basis) €1500 billion by far the largest investment relationship in the world. EU investment in the U.S., on a historical-cost basis, reached €870 billion, and the U.S. investment position in the EU grew to €628 billion6. Therefore the U.S. is by far the largest investor in the EU (accounting for 62% of total EU liabilities), while the EU is by far the biggest investor in the U.S. (accounting for 61% of total U.S. FDI stock by 2001). At the same time the bulk (46%) of U.S. investment assets abroad is located in the EU, and 50% of EU FDI stock is located in the U.S. Bilateral direct investment stocks have also been growing very quickly over the past decade, almost tripling between 1997 and 2001. Therefore EU and U.S. firms have never been as exposed to each other economies as in the first decade of the 21st century. When FDI and trade figures are considered together, one sees that U.S. and EU economic engagement remains overwhelmingly focused on each other. Foreign affiliate sales are the primary means by which U.S. and EU companies deliver products to each other’s market. Europe is the by and large the most important region in the world for corporate America7.
The amount of U.S. FDI assets in the UK alone is larger than U.S. overseas assets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East combined. And during the 1990s U.S. investment in the United Kingdom (US$175 billion) was nearly 50% larger than the total invested in the entire Asia- Pacific region. In the 1990s U.S. FDI flows into the Netherlands (US$65.7 billion) were twice as much US FDI into Mexico (US$34.1 billion).The total output of US foreign affiliates in Europe (US$ 333 billion in 2000) and of European affiliates in the U.S. (US$ 301 billion) is greater than the total gross domestic output of most nations.
With affiliate sales of US$1.4 trillion, Europe accounted for more than half of U.S. foreign affiliate sales in 2000, more than double comparable figures for the entire Asia/Pacific region.
As a comparison U.S. affiliate sales in China in 2000 totalled US$ 32 billion - roughly equal to U.S. affiliate sales in Sweden, less than one-tenth of those in Germany (US$236 billion) and about one-fourth of those in France (US$137.5 billion). In 2001 and throughout the 1990s, Europe accounted for half of total global U.S. foreign affiliate income.
Similarly, affiliate sales, represent the primary means by which European firms deliver goods and services to U.S. consumers. In 2000, the value of European affiliate sales in the U.S. ($1.4 trillion) was over four times larger than the value of U.S. imports from Europe. For many European multinationals the U.S. is the most important market in the world in terms of earnings. U.S. affiliate income of European affiliates rose more than five-fold in the 1990's to nearly US$26 billion. U.S. affiliate firms in Europe directly employed 4.1 million workers in 2000, of which 1.9 million were employed in manufacture. Adding indirect employment, close to 6 million European jobs are supported by U.S. investment in Europe. European affiliates employed roughly 4.4 million American workers in 2000. If one adds indirect employment, about 7 million Americans have a job due to European investors, who on average pay higher wages and provide greater benefits than domestic U.S. employers. Out of the 6.4 million U.S. workers on the payrolls of foreign affiliates in 2000, European firms
5 Source: Eurostat and DoC BEA.
7 These examples come from “The primacy of the Transatlantic economy”, Center for Transatlantic Relations, 2003.
accounted for nearly 70% of total employment. These affiliate employment figures understate the overall employment effects of the bilateral economic relation because they do not include jobs supported by cross-border trade between the EU and the U.S. The EU is not only a critical source of revenue for U.S. companies, it is also a key supplier of capital or liquidity for the U.S. economy, substantially contributing to finance its current account deficit. Although transatlantic trade disputes steal the headlines, trade itself accounts for less than 20% of transatlantic overall commerce, and U.S.-EU trade disputes account for less than 1% of transatlantic commerce.
The United States has maintained diplomatic relations with the European Union and its forerunners since 1953, when the first US Observers to the European Defence Community and the European Coal and Steel Community were nominated. In 1961, the US Mission to the European Communities - now the European Union - was established. The European Commission is represented in the United States by a Delegation in Washington, which was established in 1954 largely thanks to the work of the then President of the ECSC, Jean Monnet. A New York office, accredited as observer to the United Nations, was established in 1964. In 1971 the Washington office became a Delegation with full diplomatic privileges and immunities. The Delegation represents the European Commission in its dealings with the US government. It reports on US developments to headquarters in Brussels and acts as a liaison with other international institutions in Washington, DC.
The landmarks in EU-US relations in recent years are the Transatlantic Declaration, the New Transatlantic Agenda and the Transatlantic Economic Partnership. The Transatlantic Declaration was adopted by the US and the EU in 1990. It laid down the principles for greater EU-US cooperation and consultation. Cooperation in the fields of economy (liberalization, OECD, competition policy, etc.), education, science and culture and transnational challenges was established. A machinery of biannual summits and ministerial meetings, ad hoc Troika/Presidency meetings with the Secretary of State and briefings on European Political Cooperation (now CFSP) was set up in the Declaration.
2. A new Transatlantic agenda
In 1995 the New Transatlantic Agenda (NTA) and the EU-US Joint Action Plan was adopted. The NTA and the Action Plan provide a framework for EU-US partnership and cooperation across a wide range of activities under four broad chapters:
1. Promoting peace and stability, democracy and development around the world. Together, EU and USA will work for an increasingly stable and prosperous Europe; foster democracy and economic reform in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in Russia, Ukraine and other new independent states; secure peace in the Middle East; advance human rights; promote non-proliferation and cooperate on development and humanitarian assistance.
2. Responding to global challenges. Together, EU and USA will fight international crime, drug-trafficking and terrorism; address the needs of refugees and displaced persons; protect the environment and combat disease.
3. Contributing to the expansion of world trade and closer economic relations. Together, EU and USA will strengthen the multilateral trading system and take concrete, practical steps to promote closer economic relations between us.
4. Building bridges across the Atlantic. Together, EU and USA will work with our business people, scientists, educators and others to improve communication and to ensure that future generations remain as committed as we are to developing a full and equal partnership.
Within this Framework, an extensive Joint EU/U.S. Action Plan has been developed. Special priority between now and next Summit is given to the following actions:
1) PROMOTING PEACE AND STABILITY, DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT AROUND THE WORLD
Both sides pledge to work boldly and rapidly, together and with other partners, to implement the peace, to assist recovery of the war-ravaged regions of the former Yugoslavia and to support economic and political reform and new democratic institutions. Several tasks have to be ensured: (1) respect for human rights, for the rights of minorities and for the rights of refugees and displaced persons, in particular the right of return; (2) respect for the work of the War Crimes Tribunal, established by the United Nations Security Council, in order to ensure international criminal accountability; (3) the establishment of a framework for free and fair elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina as soon as conditions permit and (4) the implementation of the agreed process for arms control, disarmament and confidence-building measures.
Both sides will support the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in their efforts to restructure their economies and strengthen their democratic and market institutions, as well as are determined to reinforce the cooperation to consolidate democracy and stability in Russia, Ukraine and other new independent states. Both sides reaffirm our commitment to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
2) RESPONDING TO GLOBAL CHALLENGES
EU and U.S. are determined to take new steps in their common battle against the scourges of international crime, drug trafficking and terrorism. An active, practical cooperation between the U.S. and the future European Police Office, EUROPOL is to be created.
EU and U.S. will work together to strengthen multilateral efforts to protect the global environment and to develop environmental policy strategies for sustainable world-wide growth. Both sides will coordinate their negotiating positions on major global environmental issues, such as climate change, ozone layer depletion, persistent organic pollutants, desertification and erosion and contaminated soils. Coordinated initiatives to disseminate environmental technologies and to reduce the public health risks from hazardous substances should be undertaken.
Both sides are committed to develop and implement an effective global early warning system and response network for new and re-emerging communicable diseases such as AIDS and the Ebola virus, and to increase training and professional exchanges in this area. Together, they call on other nations to join the allies in more effectively combating such diseases.
3) CONTRIBUTING TO THE EXPANSION OF WORLD TRADE AND CLOSER ECONOMIC RELATIONS
EU and U.S. have a special responsibility to strengthen the multilateral trading system, to support the World Trade Organisation and to lead the way in opening markets to trade and investment. Both sides will contribute to the expansion of world trade by fully implementing Uruguay Round commitments. In this context the possibility of agreeing on a mutually satisfactory package of tariff reductions on industrial products will be explored. EU and U.S. will work together for the successful conclusion of a Multilateral Agreement on Investment at the OECD that espouses strong principles on international investment liberalisation and protection. Both sides will cooperate in creating additional trading opportunities, bilaterally and throughout the world. A New Transatlantic Marketplace will be created. A joint study on ways of facilitating trade in goods and services and further reducing or eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers will be carried out. To allow people to take full advantage of newly developed information technology and services, both sides will work toward the realisation of a Transatlantic Information Society.
4) BUILDING BRIDGES ACROSS THE ATLANTIC
The need to strengthen and broaden public support for the partnership was recognised. To that end, EU and U.S. will seek to deepen the commercial, social, cultural, scientific and educational ties among people.
EU and U.S. will not be able to achieve these ambitious goals without the backing of their respective business communities. Both sides will support, and encourage the development of the transatlantic business relationship, as an integral part of their wider efforts to strengthen their bilateral dialogue. The successful conference of EU and U.S. business leaders which took place in Seville on 10-11 November 1995 was an important step in this direction.
3. Cooperation after the new Transatlantic agenda
Significant progress has been made since 1995, with the signature at the EU-US Summit of May 1997 of the Agreement on Custom Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters; the entering into force on 1 December 1998 of the Mutual Recognition Agreement covering specific goods areas (telecom equipment, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, electromagnetic compatibility, electric safety and recreational craft); the EU-US Veterinary Equivalence Agreement aimed at facilitating trade in live animals and animal products and signed on 20 July 1999; the signature on 4 June 1998 of the EU-US Agreement on the application of positive comity principles in the enforcement of their competition laws; the Science and Technology Agreement signed on 5 December 1997, which extends and strengthens the conduct of cooperative activities between EU scientific institutions and a range of US government research agencies.
The EU and the US launched the Transatlantic Economic Partnership (TEP) at the London summit in May 1998. The TEP is an extension of the approach taken in the NTA. It includes both multilateral and bilateral elements. Bilaterally the purpose is to tackle technical barriers to trade. The purpose of the second part is to stimulate further multilateral liberalization – by joining forces on international trade issues. An innovative aspect of the proposal is to integrate labour, business, environmental and consumer issues into the process.
The current Transatlantic Economic Partnership based approach allows EU to go further with the US towards achievable and mutually beneficial objectives. It meets three basic conditions:
• It allows EU to focus initiatives on areas where there is goodwill on both sides and where gains can be enormous – for example financial markets;
• It promotes upstream convergence or mutual recognition of rules and standards;
• It acts as an Early warning mechanism in case a potentially damageable piece of legislation is in the pipeline.
In the Bonn Declaration adopted at the 21 June 1999 EU-US summit in Bonn, both sides committed themselves to a "full and equal partnership" in economic, political and security affairs. This explicit recognition is a step forward from the NTA. The Bonn Declaration outlines how the EU and the US want to shape their relationship over the next decade and is embedded in the NTA process.
4. Relations after 11 September 2001
A new impetus has been given to the day to day work of transatlantic relations. Well before the terrorist attacks, in June this year, European Commission President Romano Prodi and US President George W. Bush had already identified counter-terrorism as one of the five priority issues for cooperation between the European Union and the United States: since 11 September, this has become the overriding priority.
The European Response
Within days of 11 September the European Commission brought forward new measures to fight terrorism across Europe, including an agreed definition of what constitutes a terrorist act; a European arrest warrant to supplant the cumbersome system of extradition between EU Member States; tighter money laundering rules; and a legislative vehicle to permit the rapid freezing of assets across Europe as soon as an individual or organisation has been identified as a potential source of terrorist financing. The Commission has also moved quickly with air transport security measures. At an extraordinary meeting on 21 September, the European Council also acknowledged that the fight against terrorism requires greater participation by the Union in the efforts of the international community to prevent and stabilise regional conflicts. By developing Common Foreign and Security Policy and bringing the European Security and Defence Policy into operation as soon as possible, the Union will be at its most effective.
Working with the United States
In all of this activity, the European Union is coordinating its efforts closely with those of the United States. In the meantime, officials and experts on both sides are in constant contact with each other to ensure the greatest possible complementarity between US and EU actions. Fortunately, the mechanics of EU-US relations have stood up well to this test. The New Transatlantic Agenda (‘NTA’), signed in 1995, governs formal contacts between the EU and the US. Using its structures, both sides have been able to meet frequently and at all levels to coordinate the campaign against terrorism. At the same time, the underlying strength of the NTA has become apparent. Far from diverting attention from the day-to-day business of EU-US relations, this crisis has shown that we can bring all necessary resources to bear when the unexpected arises, while ensuring ‘business as usual’ on the very wide range of other issues that exist on the transatlantic agenda at any given time. The successful conclusion to the WTO Ministerial meeting in Doha earlier in November bears witness to this. Working together to make the Doha meeting a success was another priority for EU-US operation, and its outcome demonstrates that neither the EU nor the US has allowed the attacks of 11 September to derail our commitment to working together for the good of our citizens and the global community.
5. Conference in Doha
After five days of intense negotiations, on 14 November 2001, trade ministers of the Members of the World Trade Organisation reached agreement in Doha, Quatar, on the launch of a new round of global trade talks. The 4th WTO Ministerial Conference paved the way for substantive discussions, over the next three years, with a view to further liberalise world trade and strengthen the rules-based trade system. These negotiations will restore business confidence in world trade and, most importantly, benefit developing countries by addressing their interests and concerns. The success of Doha is also a result of increased co-operation between the EU and the US in the preparation of the Ministerial Conference. The bilateral commitment to the launch of a new round was lastly confirmed at the EU-US Summit in Göteborg on 14 June 2001 where leaders agreed on the priority of ‘reaching agreement on the scope of the new round and working together to solicit support for the agreement in the run-up to the 4th WTO Ministerial in Doha’. Although the two sides did not always agree on every detail, the co-operative spirit in which the EU and the US worked hard to prepare this Ministerial made it possible overcome the majority of the differences beforehand and to concentrate in Doha on a few, but important, numbers of issues. The final texts of the Declaration and decisions adopted at Doha were welcomed by both sides. In addition to further market liberalisation in the areas of goods and services, including trade facilitation, negotiations will also address new areas, such as trade and environment, trade and development, competition and investment issues, in parallel to strengthening and improving the existing rules. A separate declaration addresses the solution to the tension between public health objectives and interests of private companies, notably in the area of patent protection for pharmaceutical products.
6. EU-US Trade Disputes, old and new
Dispute settlement activities with the US continue to represent the vast majority of the EC’s overall WTO dispute settlement activities. Regarding the substance of the EC’s offensive cases with the US, a majority of them concerns the misuse by the US of trade defence instruments (anti-dumping, countervailing duties and safeguards) as well as subsidy related issues. Another important category in these disputes relates to intellectual property rights (trademarks, copyrights and patents). Finally, the carousel case demonstrates the permanent risk of unilateral action from the part of the US. In terms of economic sectors covered, it should be noted that almost half of the EC’s offensive cases relate to the steel sector.
1. Current major cases launched by the Community
US 1916 Anti-Dumping Act:
In August 2000, the WTO Appellate Body condemned the 1916 US Anti-Dumping Act. Two European companies are still facing a judicial challenge before US courts on the basis of the 1916 Act. A WTO Arbitrator ruled on 28 February 2001 that the reasonable period of time for the US to implement the WTO Appellate Body. On 20 July 2001, the US Administration formally proposed a bill to revoke the 1916 Act. This proposal also provides for the termination of the cases pending before US courts. However, no action has yet been taken by the US Congress. The EC will closely monitor US implementation.
The ‘Byrd amendment’ signed into law provides that the proceeds from anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases be paid to the US companies responsible for bringing the cases. This provision appears incompatible with several WTO provisions. On 22 December 2000, the EC and eight other WTO Members requested WTO consultations with the US which were held on 6 February 2001, but which did not lead to any result. On 26 June 2001, the US has published the "proposed rules" for implementing the Byrd amendment.
US countervailing measures on privatised EU companies :
In May 2000, the WTO Appellate Body condemned the countervailing duties imposed by the US on British Steel’s exports of lead and bismuth steel from the UK. The US had wrongly presumed that British Steel plc. had benefited from subsidies granted to its predecessor, the state-owned British Steel Corporation, before its privatisation. The EC requested WTO consultations in 13 other cases where the US had applied the condemned methodology against EU companies. These were held in December 2000. Although the US is forced to review this methodology, it still refuses to take account of the WTO ruling. Following the application by the US of a new methodology, which also appears to violate WTO provisions, the EC requested WTO consultations on this new methodology. These were held in April 2001. On 18 July 2001, the US confirmed that it refused to accept the compromise proposal made by the EC.
US safeguard measures on imports of steel wire rod and welded line pipe:
In March 2000, the US introduced two safeguard measures on imports of steel wire rod and imports of welded line pipe in the form of a tariff increase above a tariff quota. The EC requested formal WTO consultations, which took place on 26 January 2001.
Foreign Sales Corporations (FSC):
This case is by far the largest in economic terms. In February 2000, the WTO Appellate Body condemned the income tax exemption afforded to US exporters by means of FSCs as an export subsidy inconsistent with WTO provisions. On 15 November 2000, the US adopted a new system, which, in the EC’s view, remains WTO incompatible. This WTO Panel was requested on 17 November 2000. Furthermore, at the end of November 2000, the EC requested authorisation from the WTO to adopt countermeasures against the US in order to preserve its rights. The suspension of concessions procedure was suspended the following day. The report of the compliance Panel, circulated on 20 August 2001, confirms that the FSC Replacement Act is in breach of the US obligations under the Subsidies and Agriculture Agreements and that therefore the US has not implemented the WTO recommendations and rulings as from 1 October 2001.
2. Property Cases on intellectual rights
US Copyright Act:
On 15 June 2000, a WTO Panel condemned Section 110 of the US Copyright Act containing an exemption to the exclusive rights of authors when their music is played in bars, restaurants or shops via a radio or TV. In order to facilitate the solution of this dispute, the EC agreed to a procedural agreement with the US that (a) negotiations on the compensation to EU right holders be held and (b) a WTO arbitration procedure would determine the economic losses due to the WTO incompatible US Copyright Act. The arbitrators rendered their award on 12 October 2001 and determined that the level of nullification or impairment was equal to 1.219.900 €/year.
Omnibus Appropriations Act:
In June 2000, the EC requested the establishment of a WTO Panel which is designed to diminish the rights under the WTO TRIPs Agreement of owners of US trademarks which are identical or similar to trademarks which previously belonged to a Cuban national company which was expropriated in the course of the Cuban revolution.
The 1930 Tariff Act:
US International Trade Commission (ITC) may declare the importation into the US of articles infringing US intellectual property rights illegal. In a number of ways, foreign receive less favourable treatment than US respondents in comparable cases thus violating the national treatment principle of the GATT and certain procedural requirements contained in the TRIPs Agreement. In 1989, Section 337 was already condemned by a GATT Panel, but despite certain amendments by the US in 1994 the US appears not to have brought the statute into conformity with the GATT Panel's findings. The EC requested WTO consultations, which took place in February 2000. Since then, the ITC has started new investigations against a number of European companies. The Commission is concerned by these developments and it regularly raises the ‘Section 337’ issue in its bilateral contacts with the US Administration. The Commission does not discard possible further action at the WTO level.
3. Cases dealing with US unilateralism
The ‘Carousel legislation provides for a mandatory and unilateral revision of the list of products subject to sanctions against imports from WTO Members which have been determined not to have implemented WTO rulings. The EC requested WTO consultations, which were held on 5 July 2000. Despite strong rumours that rotation could have taken place by 14 November or 18 November 2000, this did not happen. However, the EC will consider a request for the establishment of a WTO Panel should the legislation be applied and sanctions rotated.
4. Current major cases launched against the Community
In the past, two European Union banana regimes were challenged successfully in the WTO, prompting US retaliation against EU products. On 11 April 2001, the US Government and the European Commission reached an understanding to resolve this long-standing dispute. A new EU regime will provide a transition to a tariff-only system by 2006. During the transition, bananas will be imported into the EU through import licences distributed on the basis of past trade. After the transition, a tariff-only system is scheduled to take effect on 1 January 2006. The understanding marks a significant breakthrough. It demonstrates the commitment of the Bush Administration and the European Commission to work together closely and effectively on trade issues. Most important, both parties agreed that the time had come to end a dispute which had led to prolonged conflict in the world trading system. Phase 1 of the understanding has been implemented by the EC on 1 July 2001. A working party for a GATT Article I waiver for the Cotonou Agreement has been established on 11 October 2001. The EC has also urged the US to actively support the EC request for a GATT Article XIII waiver, which is a prerequisite for the implementation of Phase 2 of the Understanding and in particular the reservation of the reduced C quota for ACP bananas. The ‘WTO waiver process’ was successfully completed by the approval of both waivers during the 4th WTO Ministerial meeting in November 2001 in Doha, Quatar.
In February 1998, the WTO condemned the EU ban on imports of beef produced with growth promoting hormones since it was not based on a sufficiently specific risk assessment. The Commission, therefore, decided to carry out such an assessment, in line with indications given by the WTO. While awaiting the results of the ongoing assessment, the US was authorised by the WTO to suspend concessions equivalent to the losses to their industries caused by the maintenance of the EC import ban. On 5 May 2000, the Commission adopted a proposal to amend the ‘hormones directive’. In addition, further studies will be launched with the objective of obtaining more complete scientific information. The Commission proposal is not yet adopted. In the meantime, the EC still has every interest to convert present US sanctions into compensatory tariff reductions. The US has showed some interest in increased market access for non-hormone treated beef and both sides are engaged in negotiating a possible trade-enhancing compensation package. However, the drop in the EU market following the BSE crisis and the long lead time needed by the US industry to gear up hormone free production recently diminished the prospects for an amicable solution. The resolution of the bananas dispute and the realisation that trade sanctions are not productive may increase the possibility of an agreement on temporary compensation on hormone- free beef.
7. Multilateral Action
The last EU-US Summit of June 2003 took stock of the latest progress achieved under the bilateral Positive Economic Agenda, notably the financial markets dialogue, the launch of regulatory co-operation in four priority sectors (cosmetics, automobile safety, nutritional labelling and metrology), and the conclusion of the MRA on marine safety equipment.
Close EU-US cooperation took place in preparation of the Cancun WTO ministerial meeting of September 2003. This was reflected in particular in the Eu and the US joint proposal on agriculture, that could have led to significant decreases in trade distorting domestic support and export subsidies of all kinds and to increased market access in all important markets.
In order to enhance the multilateral trading system, the EU and US shared objectives, include inter alia:
• The full implementation of WTO commitments and respect for dispute settlement obligations;
• Ambitious objectives and offers for the further opening of trade in services;
• The multilateral negotiations for the continuation of the reform process in agriculture in full conformity with Article 20 of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture;
• The intensification of forward-looking work in the WTO on trade facilitation;
• The development of common approaches in appropriate multilateral fora on investment, competition, public procurement and trade and the environment
8. EU Enlargement to strengthen transatlantic partnership
(Opinions of EU and US deputies)
The United States believes that EU enlargement will only strengthen the transatlantic partnership, the State Department's assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs, E.Anthony Wayne, said on the occasion of an enlargement seminar in Washington D.C.. He outlined a few of the reasons for which the United States sees enlargement in a positive light: increased prosperity for new members and their fuller inclusion in "the mainstream of transatlantic commerce", greater diversification of EU economies, "which may provide the catalyst for revision of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy", and increased investment and market potential for American companies. However, the United States is concerned that the enlargement process might "distract the EU from its obligation to remain fully engaged with the global economy". It might also make compromise and consensus more difficult to achieve within the EU, Wayne said. From the EU side, Roderick Abbott, Deputy Director General of the European Commission's Trade Directorate General, acknowledged US concerns, but put them into perspective by explaining that the EU confronts similar issues as a result of NAFTA. Abbott stressed that despite these concerns, the overall impact on US business of enlargement was very positive, and expressed the Commission's confidence in WTO procedures to compensate the US for any loss following enlargement, "although there would not be many instance where this would be required".
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