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United States | Brussels, 18 February 2015

Transatlantic Economic Council: Cooperation on Innovation and Growth

Senior officials of the European Commission and the U.S. Department of State gathered on Wednesday 18th February to review progress, discuss new opportunities, and take steps to re-energise joint collaboration under the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), which brings together officials from external trade, regulatory, commercial and scientific agencies in the EU and the United States government to support innovation and growth. Jean-Luc Demarty, Director General of DG Trade for the EU, and Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment for the United States led the effort. Updated on 27 March 2015

The TEC has succeeded in fostering cooperation in a wide range of emerging sectors, including:

  • Developing common standards, test procedures and tools to promote universal compatibility and interoperability between electric vehicles, e-vehicles supply equipment, and the electric power supply infrastructure;
  • Creating a common education programme to support jobs in the health-IT workforce; and
  • Stimulating innovation in the sustainable use of bio-based products.

TEC participants also regularly discuss joint approaches to ensuring fair access to and responsible use of critical raw materials, and have promoted opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to increase exports.

Mr. Demarty and Ms. Novelli intend to build on the success of the TEC and apply lessons learned to explore new areas for cooperation. They will discuss specific proposals at their next meeting later this year. A full report of the meeting has been published by DG TRADE and the U.S. Department of State.

The TEC will continue to operate in parallel with the ongoing Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations.
 

Background

EU and U.S. leaders first set up the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) in 2007, to help guide and spur forward economic cooperation between them.

Since then, the TEC has enabled the EU and the US to share and benefit from each other's know-how and experience in a wide range of industries, many of them high-tech and science-based.

For example, EU and U.S. scientists and regulators have been able to work together on research into charging devices and smart grids for electric vehicles – leading to a common testing method for these systems.

In 2011, the TEC launched the High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth. This led to the decision to start negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP), which are now well underway.
 

More on the Translatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership