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.

Dimitris Dimitriadis, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) discussed the impact of globalization on Europe’s employment, investment and innovation and how the European Union is meeting these challenges. The EESC is a consultative body that gives representatives from Europe’s economic, social and academic sectors a formal platform to express their views on EU issues. Its opinions are forwarded to institutions including the European Council, European Commission, and European Parliament. Dr. Philip Levy, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and trade advisor to the McCain Campaign, presented the U.S. perspective on the effects of trade and globalization on employment and innovation.

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