By Allison Aaronson, Public Affairs Intern at the U.S. Mission to the EU
Today marks the final day of our weeklong blog series, Talking Trade: Stories of the Transatlantic Exchange.
We started off the week with our newest form of trade: the digital economy. U.S. Mission to the EU (USEU) Economic Officer Steve Conlon gave us the inside scoop on the U.S. – EU Information Society Dialogue, where he and his colleagues met with their EU counterparts to discuss how we can work together to balance digitally fueled economic growth with high standards of privacy and security.
Next, USEU Agricultural Minister Counselor Jim Higgiston told us about agricultural trade and its strong, positive influence on our economies. We also learned about some of the agreements supporting transatlantic agricultural trade and simplifying the system for small and medium sized farmers, including the U.S.- EU Organic Equivalency Agreement and the U.S.- EC Wine Agreement.
Yesterday, Donald Prater, Director of FDA Europe at USEU, enlightened us as to the unique challenges of maintaining safety standards in the global pharmaceuticals market. He also discussed the ways in which the U.S. and the EU are joining together to address these challenges, namely, the U.S. – EU Mutual Reliance Initiative.
What I find striking about these analyses is that the consistency and strength of the transatlantic trade relationship is apparent throughout these three seemingly unrelated sectors. The U.S. and the EU are each other’s largest trading partners in almost every sector, a truth that is unquestionably tied to our shared cultural heritage and values. Our digital collaboration is effective because the U.S. and EU are both service-based economies with high levels of innovation and education, but more importantly, because we share a commitment to protecting our citizens’ right to privacy. In the agricultural sector, agreements such as the U.S.-EU Organic Equivalency Agreement and the U.S. – EC Wine Agreement work because the U.S. and the EU have the highest standards for food regulation in the world. Likewise, we are able to trust our counterpart’s pharmaceutical regulations enough to work towards a shared regulatory system.
The U.S. and the EU are already the world’s most effective trading partners, but we believe we can do even better. We still have opportunities to further open markets, strengthen rules-based investment, decrease regulatory burdens, increase employment, and promote the global competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises. That is why next week, U.S. and EU policymakers will be convening in Brussels for the 10th Round of T-TIP Negotiations. We look forward to the coming week of discussions as our greatest opportunity to build on this thriving relationship, and to collaborate with our European allies to better adapt to our increasingly global society.
Thank you for keeping up with us on #TalkingTrade this week. As always, we appreciate your feedback and would love for you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter. Please look for future installments of #TalkingTrade – there are many facets of the vibrant U.S.-EU trade relationship that we have barely touched on this week. If you want to learn more about T-TIP and next week’s negotiations, please consult the resources below: