European Interest

Trade MEPs discuss effective joint actions in the United States

flickr/European Parliament/CC BY 2.0

A delegation of trade MEPs will hold talks next week on global trade challenges including Trade and Technology Council deliverables in Washington, DC.

Between 1 – 4 November, the six-member delegation of the Committee on International Trade (INTA) will meet White House officials, members of Congress, the United States Trade Representative, business representatives from US-based European companies and US enterprises, trade unions and think tanks.                                                        Looking beyond trade tensions, MEPs want to assess possible concrete coordinated or joint actions, including next steps in the trade-related work of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC), which held its inaugural meeting in Pittsburgh on 29 September. They are interested in particular in the area covered by the Global Trade Challenges working group, which deals, among other issues, with joint support to promote workers’ rights and combat child and forced labour, but also foreign investment screening, secure supply chains (especially regarding semiconductors), export controls, and dual use products.                    MEPs are set to explore US engagement in the reform of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in view of the upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference, and will discuss the enforcement of trade and investment agreements and shared global challenges posed by non-market economies.

The members of the delegation are:

Bernd Lange (S&D, DE), head of the delegation, chair of the committee; Danuta Hübner (EPP, PL); Liesje Schreinemacher (Renew Europe, NL); Herve Juvin (ID, FR); Dominik Tarczyński (ECR, PL); Helmut Scholz (The Left, DE)

“I am extremely pleased to lead this delegation to the US. The last INTA delegation before the Covid-19 pandemic was to the US and it is one of the first after the vaccination campaign. It shows the importance of our transatlantic trade and investment relations.      Under the Biden administration we see strong willingness on both sides for re-engagement. The ceasefire in the Airbus-Boeing dispute and the establishment of the TTC attest to this. Yet, some diverging views and bilateral irritants persist. I hope this delegation can help to overcome these differences, especially on steel and aluminium where we need to find a solution very soon to avoid a second tranche of countermeasures kicking in. Furthermore, I am confident we can make progress on a trade policy that is focused on workers and wages. During our talks about the TTC, we will insist that it delivers concrete benefits. Finally, I hope our work in Washington, DC will help pave the way for a successful Ministerial Conference at the WTO at the end of this month,” said Bernd Lange, the head of the delegation and chair of the trade committee prior to the visit.

This is the second time in this legislature that members of the Committee on International discuss transatlantic trade issues in the US. The visit comes upon a thawing of tense trade relations during the previous American administration.

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