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.
The Roundtable featured a delegation from the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee including:  The Honorable Pervenche Berès, Chairwoman of the Committee, The Honorable John Purvis, Vice-Chairman of the Committee, The Honorable Wolf Klinz, The Honorable Ieke van de Burg and The Honorable Mariela Baeva.  In light of the recent call to establish a European Systematic Risk Council as an early warning system and the upcoming G20 summit in London, the participants engaged in a vivid discussion on the right balance of regulation, surveillance, stimulus packages and bailouts as well as on the possible resulting distortions in the market. The delegation discussed the current financial crises and reform proposals for the regulatory framework of the financial sector.  Presenting a U.S. perspective, Ethiopis Tafara, Director of International Affairs of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission addressed the need for collective action regarding financial regulation in light of the upcoming G20 summit in London – but also stressed the importance of finding common parameters rather than identical solutions.  Oliver Moss, Senior Vice President at Bank of America moderated the discussion.

Opening the meeting, Joelle Attinger, President of the European Institute, stressed the need to strengthen the economic partnership between the U.S. and Europe.

Even amid the acute current economic slump, the U.S. global trade deficit with grew by 1.1 percent in October – a reminder of the need for maintaining strong transatlantic cooperation.

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Jürgen Thumann, European Co-Chair of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue reviewed the achievements of the TEC, and offered an outlook on the future of transatlantic economic cooperation, in light of the current upheaval in the global financial sector and the emerging priorities of the incoming U.S. Administration. As one of three members of the TEC’s Group of Advisers, the Transatlantic Business Dialogue plays a central role in communicating the private sector’s priorities for achieving transatlantic economic integration. On the occasion of this summer’s US-EU Summit, the TABD stressed four areas of particular importance: investment protectionism; fostering innovation with strong protection of intellectual property; facilitating the freest possible movement of people and goods within transatlantic borders, and enhancing cooperation on energy supply and climate change.

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.

Douglas RedikerThe inauguration of Barack Obama has been greeted by seemingly universal words of welcome and great expectations. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called it “a special day for billions of people all over the world” while French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced “we are eager for him to get to work so that with him we can change the world.” In most quarters of the globe, there appears to be a common belief that President Obama will preside over an American government that is ready, willing and able to engage the rest of the world and re-assert its leadership on the most important issues facing the world today and in years to come. Unilateral actions are out, we are told, and multi-lateral cooperation is back on the table.

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