MEPs discussed global trade issues with counterparts in Congress, the executive, business and trade unions during a three-day US visit ending on Thursday.

Bernd Lange (S&D, DE), the head of the delegation and chair of the Committee on International Trade (INTA) made the following statement on the last day of the visit:     “The delegation of the INTA committee took place in a context of a new era of more constructive transatlantic engagement. All our discussions were very productive and forward-looking. The delegation had the opportunity to meet many of the most relevant transatlantic interlocutors.                                                                                                Congress showed substantial interest. The delegation held discussions with the House Ways and Means Committee and with other Congressmen (16 in total) on a broad range of issues. This shows the importance that legislators on both sides of the ocean attach to the transatlantic partnership. A salient issue was our joint interest to guarantee the democratic scrutiny of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC).                                                          We met with key representatives of the US executive branch, including US Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai, her deputy Ambassador Jayme White, representatives of the White House, the Department of Commerce and several other key services. Noting the collaborative nature of our trading relationship, we discussed, among others, the TTC, the recent EU-US arrangement on steel and aluminium, our expectations for the 12th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation at the end of this month and the role of trade in tackling climate change, tackling forced labour products.                Finally, the delegation exchanged views with key stakeholders, such as the new AFL-CIO leadership, the US Chamber of Commerce and other business representatives. We discussed common challenges and the ways we can design and implement a trade policy that puts workers at its centre.”

This was the second time in this legislature that members of the trade committee discussed transatlantic trade issues in the US. The visit came upon a thawing of tense trade relations during the previous American administration.