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:


The European Institute held a meeting of the Transatlantic Roundtable on Trade on Friday, March 18th, with Hiddo Houben, Counselor and Head of the Trade and Agriculture Section at the Delegation of the European Union.  Mr. Houben briefed participants on the current state of EU-U.S. trade relations and highlighted opportunities for increased transatlantic cooperation  in an increasingly competitive global  environment.


On December 10, 2010, Arkady Dvorkovich, Chief Economic Advisor to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, delivered keynote remarks via teleconference to a special meeting of The European Institute’s Roundtable of EU-U.S.-Russia Triangular Relations.  Focused on the common challenge of maintaining the innovation paradigm in a difficult economic climate, the meeting included opening remarks by His Excellency Jan Matthysen, Ambassador of Belgium to the United States and a panel discussion with Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), Co-Chair of the Russia Caucus; Ambassador Vincent Mertens de Wilmars, Diplomatic Advisor to the Belgian Minister of Defense and Former Ambassador of Belgium to the Russian Federation; and Antonio de Lecea, Minister- Principle Advisor for the Delegation of the European Union. The discussion was moderated by The Honorable Clay Lowery, Vice President of International Government Affairs at Cisco Systems, Inc.

On October 7, 2010, Dr. Franc Križanic, Minister of Finance for the Republic of Slovenia offered his perspective on the implications of the economic crisis for his country as well as for the European Union. The first former eastern bloc country to adopt the euro in 2007, Slovenia has been hard hit by the current economic downturn. Following a decade of robust growth, Slovenia’s export driven economy contracted by 7.8 % in 2009 -- the largest drop in the euro area and the first recession since independence. But a combination of bold stimulus measures and financial sector support appears to have stemmed the downturn and GDP is expected to show a modest gain of .6% by year’s end. Minister Križanic asserted that sustainable economic growth will depend largely on increased investment in the development of new technologies. With key economic indicators showing that both Slovenia and Europe are already beginning to emerge from the crises, he concluded that prospects for even further recovery, growth and prosperity are good, as long as a focused and consolidated effort to achieve key goals remains intact.

Click here to view Minister Križanic's presentation.

The European Institute hosted The Honorable Eric Hirschhorn, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security, who discussed the challenges facing the implementation of President Obama’s export control initiative and the implications for the transatlantic trade relationship.  Under Secretary Hirschhorn said that the President’s initiative will not only streamline export control processes but will also cut the number of items protected by current controls and require licenses for fewer components.  The Under Secretary emphasized that the reforms under consideration should not place any additional legal burden on U.S. companies, and that the Administration's goal is to make the process less cumbersome and more hospitable to growing the export market.  Under Secretary Hirschhorn remained hopeful that the U.S. Congress would take up the export control legislation this year, or at the latest, early next year.

Click here to read the full text of Under Secretary Hirschhorn's remarks.

On April 1, 2010, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Russian Federation, held a special meeting of its Roundtable on EU-U.S.-Russia Triangular Relations to discuss the prospects and challenges of deepening economic and trade relations with Russia. The Honorable Andrey Denisov, First Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, addressed the need for greater triangular cooperation on a variety of fronts, including energy, technology and innovation, and stressed the importance of the Russian Federation’s accession to the WTO. The Honorable Robert Hormats, Under Secretary for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State asserted American interest in developing stronger trade and investment relationships with Russia and  the importance of seizing opportunities for greater technological cooperation. Ambassador Richard Morningstar, the U.S. Secretary of State’s Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy viewed triangular coordination as particularly important in seeking to diversify energy sources and supply on both sides of the Atlantic, and urged continued discussions on diversification, innovation and investment. Angelos Pangratis, Chargé d’Affaires of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States encouraged a comprehensive approach, anchored to WTO accession, and cited the EU’s continuing efforts to negotiate a successor to the current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, establish a partnership for modernization and stabilize energy relations through a clear legal framework.