Transatlantic Regulatory Cooperation: A Possible Role for Congress [November 18, 2009] [open pdf - 215KB]
"The United States and the European Union (EU) share a comprehensive, dynamic, and mutually beneficial economic relationship. Transatlantic markets are among the most open in the world and are deeply integrated. The current global economic crisis has begun to have a significant negative impact on the transatlantic economy. Nevertheless, the great stake each side has had in the other's economy affords both sides the ability to withstand each other's current economic downturn. The key measure of the strength of the transatlantic relationship could be the ability of both sides to work with each other to weather the current financial storm. One issue that has worked against a stronger economic relationship is the existence of regulatory barriers that limit an even more integrated market from materializing. The United States and the EU have engaged in a number of attempts to reduce remaining non-tariff and regulatory barriers to trade. In the most recent effort, then President Bush and German Chancellor Merkel, serving as President of the EU, at the April 2007 U.S.-EU Summit agreed to establish the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC). The TEC was directed to 'advance the work of reducing or eliminating non-tariff barriers to transatlantic commerce and trade.' The leaders also created an advisory group to 'provide guidance and direction' to the TEC and invited the U.S. Congress, along with the European Parliament, to accept a new, more substantive role in transatlantic regulatory cooperation by becoming part of the advisory group. The Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue (TLD) was appointed to represent the legislatures in the TEC advisory group. […]This report provides background and analysis on the TEC process, the role of the Congress, and the TLD. For additional information see CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report RL34717, 'Transatlantic Regulatory Cooperation: Background and Analysis', by Raymond J. Ahearn, and CRS Report RL30608, 'EUU. S. Economic Ties: Framework, Scope, and Magnitude', by William H. Cooper."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34735
U.S. Department of State: http://fpc.state.gov/