U.S.-European Union Trade Relations: Issues and Policy Challenges [Updated March 27, 2002] [open pdf - 126KB]
"The United States and European Union (EU) share a huge and mutually beneficial economic partnership. Not only is the U.S.-EU trade and investment relationship the largest in the world, it is arguably the most important. Agreement between the two economic superpowers has been critical to making the world trading system more open and efficient. At the same time, a confluence of old and new trade disputes, entailing U.S. retaliation and EU threats of counter-retaliation have increased trade tensions in recent years. A final ruling issued January 14, 2002 by the World Trade Organization (WTO) against a U.S. export tax benefit figures prominently in current trade disputes, along with the EU's failure to approve pending applications for new biotechnology crops and the imposition of U.S. steel restraints in March. [...] The major U.S.-EU trade and investment policy challenges can be grouped into six categories: (1) avoiding a 'big ticket' trade dispute associated with tax breaks for U.S. exporters; (2) resolving longstanding trade disputes involving protection for domestic producers of airplanes and steel; (3) dealing with different public concerns over new technologies and new industries (4) fostering a receptive climate for mergers and acquisitions; (5) strengthening the multilateral trading system; and (6) reaching understandings on foreign policy sanctions that have a trade impact."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB10087
U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://fpc.state.gov/