The European Institute's Roundtable on Trade and Investment examines the development of the transatlantic market by providing its members with information from leading public and private sector decision makers in the U.S. and Europe. The Roundtable assesses the progress of the Transatlantic Economic Council, as well as the ongoing Doha Round and other multilateral and bilateral trade agreements. This program will also focus on the reemergence of protectionist policies spurred by the global economic crisis, evolving antitrust cases and laws, non-tariff trade barriers such as investment controls and tax policies, and intellectual property rights. The Roundtable on Trade will also examine the implications of U.S. and EU trade relations with third countries and any advancements in agricultural policy between the U.S. and EU.

Recent Meetings:


On February 23, 2010, The European Institute held a special breakfast meeting of its Transatlantic Roundtable on Financial and Monetary Affairs with His Excellency Vassilis Kaskarelis, Ambassador of Greece to the United States, who spoke about the implications of Greece’s financial crisis.

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On February 5, 2010, The European Institute held a meeting of its Transatlantic Roundtable on Trade entitled “Staying Competitive - Europe's Response to Institutional and Societal Challenges” focusing on Europe’s Competition Policy under the Lisbon Treaty and the EU’s 2020 Policy. Isabelle Benoliel, Director for Registry and Resources at the Directorate-General for Competition at the European Commission spoke about the challenges to competition policy within the European Union, especially while tackling the ongoing global economic crisis.  Elizabeth Kraus, Deputy Director for International Antitrust at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Office of International Affairs spoke about the need for the U.S. to continue to work with the Commission on the challenges facing competition focusing in particular on the need for cooperation and convergence of EU and U.S. policies. John Briggs, Co-Chair of Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider’s Antitrust Practice and Managing Partner of the firm’s Washington office, was the moderator of the discussion.

On November 19, 2009, The European Institute convened a meeting on The Continuing Evolution of U.S-E.U. Competition Policy. This discussion with Philip Weiser, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for International, Policy and Appellate Matters at the U.S. Department of Justice, addressed the opportunities and challenges for greater transatlantic cooperation in competition law and policies. Mr. Weiser shared his perspective on the Obama Administration's approach to competition policy, stressing the importance of "new institutional economics" with attendant focus on clearer guidelines and standards for mergers and acquisitions as well as greater transparency and establishment of best practices to sustain economic competition. Mr. Weiser also emphasized the need to fortify technical cooperation between the United States and the European Union in order to guarantee competition in the transatlantic as well as the global economies.

Sibylle Zitko, Legal Advisor at the Delegation of the European Commission and an expert on EU competition policies, echoed the need for common standards and guidelines. Although the new Barroso Commission was still being formed at the time of this meeting, Ms. Zitko stressed the continuity of the European Union's competition policies and lauded the "excellent" staff cooperation that has sustained transatlantic cooperation in this critical facet of economic relations.

This meeting was supported by the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

While the EU and the new U.S. Administration are trying to harmonize their views, trade in food and regulations regarding biotechnology remain among the most delicate areas in transatlantic trade negotiations, in part because of the different backgrounds on which public opinions are based. Dan Rotenberg, Counselor for Agricultural Affairs at the Delegation of the European Commission addressed  the status of the Doha Trade Talks in this sector. His colleague at the Delegation, Dr. Wolf-Martin Maier, Counselor for Food Safety, Health and Consumer Affairs addressed questions regarding food safety and consumer protection regulations.
This meeting hosted by the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia, addressed trade issues in light of the current economic crisis and declining trade. Speakers included: Mauro Petriccione, European Commission's DG Trade Director for bilateral relations including the United States and China; Dr. Tihomir Stoytchev, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission for the Embassy of Republic of Bulgaria; and William “Bill” Craft, Jr., Acting Assistant Secretary for Trade Policy and Programs at the U.S. Department of State.  All of the panelists agreed that despite the economic crisis, it is vital to avoid protectionism policies and that transatlantic cooperation is needed to keep world trade markets open.