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Transatlantic Business and Legislators support EU-US economic integration

As the first Transatlantic Economic Council convenes in Washington on November 9th, we the participants and stakeholders in this transatlantic economy urge the Council to deliver tangible results and a forward-looking agenda for economic cooperation that will create and secure jobs, spread prosperity, and ensure the transatlantic economy develops its own full potential and remains an engine room for global economic growth.

At the EU-US Summit in April this year, political leaders pledged to strengthen transatlantic economic integration. Agreeing next week to recognize each others’ accounting standards and regulatory approaches to biofuels will represent a significant next step towards implementation. But as we move into a period of political transition for the US and the EU, we also need sustained political commitment to developing and delivering an ambitious work program for 2008 and a roadmap for completing the transatlantic market by 2015.

Today producers are commonly forced to duplicate compliance activities by adhering to differing requirements designed to achieve the same ends. Result? Consumers pay a higher price. In many cases, recognizing each others’ standards, converging our regulatory regimes, or agreeing jointly to support global standards, will add significant value for consumers and business both. It makes sense, for instance, to move as quickly as possible to align patent systems, and to create a transatlantic market for innovative technologies, covering for example healthcare IT and infrastructure, medical technology, nanotechnology and Radio Frequency IDs - all of which can bring benefits on both sides of the Atlantic.

Liberalizing and integrating financial markets – in insurance, banking or securities – is key to freeing capital to support productive capacity and price risk effectively. And we would all welcome the convening from 2008 of an ‘investment dialogue’ that can structure a coordinated approach to ensuring liberalized, responsible international investment flows.

Removing regulatory barriers is only part of the challenge. Leaders also need to bring practicality to bear on rules regulating the movement of goods and people in order to avoid creating new and unnecessary inefficiencies. Ensuring both effective security of U.S. and EU homelands and efficient supply chain logistics need not involve trade-offs between the two if we work together to align procedures.

We hold mutual stakes in each other’s present and future prosperity. As business and legislative leaders, we support the aims of the Transatlantic Economic Council and wish every success for its first meeting.