Transatlantic Economic Council Discussions Highlight Need for Cooperation in Innovation and Regulatory and Standards Collaboration
On Tuesday, Secretary Bryson and other U.S. government
officials had a valuable conversation with senior European Union (EU) leaders
on ways to cooperate and achieve the Obama administration’s National Export
Initiative (NEI) goals. Since the EU is America’s largest trading partner, they
are key to meeting the ambitious goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014.
The economic relationship between the EU and the United
States is the largest and most dynamic in the world. The combined gross
domestic product accounts for more than $30 trillion – roughly 40 percent of
global GDP – and more than 800 million consumers. In 2010, bilateral trade in goods
and services surpassed $873 billion. With this relationship so vital, in April
2007 the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) was established to provide
Cabinet-level political guidance for implementation of specific work programs
like intellectual property rights protection and regulatory cooperation.
Tuesday’s discussions made it clear that both the United
States and the EU recognize innovation to be the main driving force for
continuing this economic success and creating more jobs. In his comments, Secretary
Bryson noted that the innovations created through the partnerships of American
and European companies can be a greater catalyst for new jobs than innovation
done without such collaboration. The Commerce Department is currently working
tirelessly in that vein, developing transatlantic links between companies and
The TEC discussions also highlighted the need for bilateral
efforts to avoid the creation of unnecessary regulatory and standards barriers
to trade in emerging sectors that hold the most promise for U.S. exporters.
Small- and medium-sized enterprises describe diverging regulations and
standards as one of their biggest challenges to innovation. The Commerce
Department recently requested views from the private sector on what needs to be
done in this area and were told that more work needs to be done on key emerging
technologies. Ultimately, both the EU and the United States will develop ideas
for hurdling such barriers to trade and will continue to work with their
respective private sectors to come up with the information needed to regulate
in a way that continues to encourage the kind of innovation and
entrepreneurship that will drive economic growth and job creation.