BRT Commends Decision to Launch U.S.-EU Trade Negotiations | Business Roundtable

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Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy.

Washington – Business Roundtable (BRT) praised the U.S.-EU High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth for recommending the launch of U.S.-EU trade and investment negotiations and U.S. and EU leaders for announcing their decision to each take the steps necessary to launch the negotiations. 

“We commend the U.S. and EU leaders and the High Level Working Group for promoting much needed economic growth and job creation,” said Doug Oberhelman, Chairman & CEO, Caterpillar Inc., who chairs BRT’s International Engagement Committee. “Ambitious U.S.-EU negotiations will strengthen transatlantic economic relations and reinforce the open market and rules-based principles of the global trading system.”

In December 2011, the High Level Working Group, led by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, was established and asked to identify policies and measures to encourage
additional trade, job creation, economic growth and international competitiveness for the United States and the EU. 

“The Business Roundtable was an early advocate for U.S.-EU negotiations because we believe a reenergized transatlantic partnership will deliver real economic value,” said John Engler, President of the Business Roundtable. “Negotiations should launch as soon as possible this year to eliminate trade and investment barriers and to build regulatory cooperation across the Atlantic.”

BRT members back U.S.-EU negotiations as a way to expand opportunities for growth for the United States and Europe. The trade and investment relationship is already strong: 

  • The U.S. and EU economies combined are the largest in the world, accounting for 45 percent of world GDP in terms of value and nearly 40 percent in terms of purchasing power.
  • U.S.-EU total goods and services trade climbed 12 percent to $986 billion in 2011, compared to 2010. The EU accounts for 16 percent of total U.S. trade with the world.
  • In 2011, U.S. investments in the EU totaled $2.1 trillion, accounting for half of all U.S. direct investment abroad. EU investments in the United States totaled $1.6 trillion in 2011, representing 62 percent of all foreign direct investment in the United States. U.S. and EU investors combined employ more than 7 million workers on both sides of the Atlantic.

Over the last year and a half, the Business Roundtable has been at the forefront of working toward a strengthened U.S.-EU economic relationship and urging negotiations on trade, investment and regulatory cooperation issues. Among its activities:

  • BRT CEOs also traveled to Berlin in November 2011 to meet with their counterparts with the Federation of German Industries (BDI) to discuss proposals for a new transatlantic partnership. 
  • The Business Roundtable released a joint white paper in November 2011 with the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD), outlining a vision for a more strategic, dynamic and forward-looking U.S.-EU partnership, including through negotiations. In April 2012, BRT and TABD were joined by the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) in submitting the white paper as public comments to the High Level Working Group.
  • The Business Roundtable joined other major U.S. and European business groups in a March 2012 statement urging U.S. and European leaders to launch negotiations. 
  • In October 2012, BRT, TABD and ERT submitted joint public comments on U.S.-EU regulatory cooperation issues. 
  • In November 2012, the Business Roundtable coordinated a joint letter from the leaders of major U.S. and EU business associations to President Obama and the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council.

Business Roundtable’s international trade and investment priorities, including U.S.-EU trade negotiations, are included in its recently released “It’s Time to Act for America's Future: 2013 CEO Growth Agenda.”

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