Karel de Gucht Speaks at U.S. Chamber of Commerce


EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht spoke at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, pushing for a timely and ambitious conclusion to the Doha Round of trade negotiations within the World Trade Organization (WTO). The talks have been at an impasse since the summer of 2008. Suspending the negotiations could severely damage the multilateral trading system. Commissioner de Gucht recommended that the Doha talks be split into two tracks. By the end of this year, WTO members should attempt to agree on a “December Package”, a smaller set of proposals that would constitute a down payment for continuing efforts to reach an overall agreement. De Gucht declined to specify the contents of the December Package.

Commissioner de Gucht also called for deeper cooperation between the European Union and the United States with regard to regulations, standards and non-tariff barriers (NTBs). The Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), experiencing an resurgence under the Obama Administration, can play an important role in eliminating or minimizing the effect of divergent regulations and standards. At the same time, policymakers and regulators on both sides of the Atlantic must collaborate on emerging technologies and industries. Examples include nanotechnology, raw materials, and e-mobility. De Gucht praised the TEC draft work plan on e-mobility, based largely on input from the automotive industry. De Gucht indicated that the next TEC meeting will take place toward the end of the year, once again in Washington, DC.

De Gucht’s remarks:

 (This article was first published in Washington News No. 23, June 23, 2011, dwc)