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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 12, 2008
Fact Sheet: Advancing Transatlantic Economic Integration Through the Transatlantic Economic Council
President Bush And His Administration Are Working To Unleash The Potential Of The Transatlantic Economy
The third meeting of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) was convened today in Washington, D.C., continuing the TEC’s work to remove barriers to transatlantic trade and investment and promote economic integration.
Transatlantic Economic Integration Is Strengthening Economic Relationships
The transatlantic market today accounts for nearly 55 percent of global gross domestic product. Transatlantic economic relations are strong, but they can be made even stronger. Both the United States and Europe believe in strong and effective regulation to protect our citizens and the environment. However, in some cases, unnecessary differences in regulatory approaches make our companies less competitive, raise consumer costs, reduce consumer choice, and slow job creation.
Independent organizations estimate that the TEC could bring enormous benefits to the transatlantic economy. For example, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that achievement of existing TEC goals could generate billions of dollars in savings per year for the transatlantic economy. The Center for Transatlantic Relations estimates that further integration could have an even more substantial payoff – the equivalent of giving every European and American an entire year’s extra salary over their working lifetimes.
At its third meeting, the TEC:
The TEC also:
The TEC was created in April 2007, under the Framework for Advancing Transatlantic Economic Integration signed by President Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso during the U.S.-EU Summit in Washington, DC. The TEC met for the first time on November 9, 2007 in Washington, D.C. The TEC’s second meeting was held on May 13, 2008, in Brussels. Under the Framework, the TEC is charged with overseeing work to advance key priorities, including strengthening regulatory cooperation, capital markets integration, investment, innovation, intellectual property rights protection, and secure trade.
The U.S. delegation, led by Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs Daniel M. Price, included Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer, Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson, U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Robert M. Kimmitt, Deputy Secretary of Labor Howard M. Radzely, Under Secretary of State Reuben Jeffery III, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox and Commissioner Kathleen L. Casey, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Susan E. Dudley, Federal Trade Commission Chairman William E. Kovacic, and other senior Administration economic officials. The European Union delegation, led by Günter Verheugen, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, included Commissioners Catherine Ashton, Charlie McCreevy, Meglena Kuneva, and László Kovács, as well as other senior Commission and European Union Presidency officials.
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