Recovery Would Benefit From A Strong Push

There is an alarming absence of movement in the United States and Europe in the international trade field, especially in the transatlantic dimension. Despite the economic crisis, we have, at least so far, not seen any major reversal in the current trading order. This is partly thanks to the recognition of the intricate dependencies woven around global manufacturing, investment and even services over the last decades. Recognition of this reality has led most governments to abide by the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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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.

Transatlantic Press Review: Pentagon Slammed for Poor Management

The collapse of the joint tanker bid by Northrop Grumman and EADS triggered extensive and strongly worded media criticism on both sides of the Atlantic of the Obama administration’s handling of the bidding process by the Pentagon. These commentaries are echoed in private by many U.S. and European officials, who say that it further dims hopes for reversing a declining trend in transatlantic defense relations, starting with defense-industrial cooperation.

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High speed rail is a long-overdue concept for the U.S. economy whose time has finally come. But only European companies can bring it to pass.

President Barack Obama has promised $8 billion in stimulus funds to build the first real U.S. high-speed trains. The announcement, made by the President the day after his annual State of the Union speech in January, in which job-creation was a major theme, came in Tampa, Florida, the terminus of a planned link with Orlando. That is a prime high-speed project, along with two others: Sacramento and San Diego in California and a third one, a nine-state proposal in the Midwest with Chicago as its hub.

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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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