Single EU-US market could boost world trade

6th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

6 January 2006, Brussels (dpa) - A single transatlantic market between the European Union and the United States could pave the way for a comprehensive opening of world trade, an influential member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc said Tuesday. Merkel has said that she wants to use Germany's current presidency of the 27-member EU to harmonize US and EU laws and standards to boost investment and trade in both directions. "In the long-run, a transatlantic market could become a pathfinder

6 January 2006

Brussels (dpa) - A single transatlantic market between the European Union and the United States could pave the way for a comprehensive opening of world trade, an influential member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc said Tuesday.

Merkel has said that she wants to use Germany's current presidency of the 27-member EU to harmonize US and EU laws and standards to boost investment and trade in both directions.

"In the long-run, a transatlantic market could become a pathfinder and a pace setter for an opening of world trade which would go beyond the Doha round (of global trade talks)," said Matthias Wissmann, chairman of the European affairs committee of the German Parliament.

However, creating a single EU-US market for investors was not meant as a substitute for the stalled Doha round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks, aimed at liberalising global trade.

Wissmann said that such a transatlantic deal would not come at the expense of other countries. Instead, it could benefit both American and European economies while at the same time give a fresh impetus for boosting global investment flows and trade.

"It's not about fencing in Europe, it's exactly the opposite that we want," Wissmann told reporters. A transatlantic market would not be a fortress to keep out other countries but act as a magnet for foreign investors, he said.

In addition, it would help the EU and the US to steel themselves for tough competition from booming Asian markets.

Wissmann said he hoped that an EU-US summit scheduled for April 30 would see both sides make the first step towards creating "structures similar to those of an internal market."

They would include drafting common standards for goods such as cars and pharmaceuticals, new rules for financial markets and intellectual property laws.

If the US government pushes the plan, a single transatlantic market could be up-and-running by 2015, Wissmann said.

While Merkel has said that a transatlantic economic partnership would be a crucial part of the six-month German EU presidency, so far she has refused to set a date.

It remains unclear how much support Merkel has for such an EU-US trade accord. French opposition to creating a transatlantic market torpedoed a similar European Commission bid in 1998.

According to commission figures, the EU-US trade relationship represents 1.7 billion dollars a day.

Two thirds of the global investment flows into the US stem from Europe - some 60.1 billion dollars in 2005. Together, the EU and the US represent some 60 per cent of world trade.

DPA

Subject: German news

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