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United States Brussels, 05 December 2012

EU Trade Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht welcomes the merger of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue and the European American Business Council

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Today EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht welcomed the merger of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) and the European American Business Council (EABC), scheduled for 1 January 2013, to form the Transatlantic Business Council (TBC).

"Both the Transatlantic Business Dialogue and the European American Business Council have been valued supporters of the relationship between the European Union and the United States", said Commissioner De Gucht in remarks delivered at the launch of the new organisation. "I hope that your decision to merge reflects a will to work together and an understanding of the benefits of integration, values that must be at the core of any successful marriage. Because this is a time in transatlantic relations when we will need plenty of both."

"Europe and the United States have many things in common but the most important of these right now is the need for growth. We have come a long way towards recover, but there is still quite a bit further to go for both of us. So we need to make sure that we are using every option on the table to boost growth and a transatlantic free trade agreement would be one of the best options available."

Background

In terms of size, the EU-US Trade relationship is the biggest in the world. The EU and US economies account together for about half of the entire world GDP and for nearly a third of world trade flows. However, more can be done. Given the low average tariffs (less than 3%), the key to unlocking this potential lies in the tackling of non-tariff and behind-the-border regulatory restrictions.

The EU and the US are currently working together in the High-Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth, launched at the EU-US Summit in 2011, to discuss how they could further integrate their trade relationship, with the option of launching a free trade agreement. The results should be known soon.

EU-US trade in facts and figures

In terms of size, the EU-US trade relationship is the biggest in the world, with more than €1.8 billion of goods and services traded every day between the European Union and the United States.

In 2011 bilateral trade volume of goods and services amounted to 702.6 billion Euros and bilateral investment stock to 2.394 trillion Euros.

We are mutually our biggest trading partners, with 13,8 % of total EU trade being done with the US (2011), and 17,8 % of total US trade being done with the EU (2010).

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