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Rebuilding trade post-COVID-19: Atlantic Council’s EU-US Future Forum
On Thursday, 6 May 2021, as part of the Atlantic Council’s EU-US Future Forum, Susan Danger, CEO, AmCham EU took to the stage to discuss the state of transatlantic trade ties in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. She was joined for a panel discussion by Former Acting US Representative to the EU, Ronald Gidwitz, alongside Rupert Schlegelmiilch, Director of the Americas, Agriculture, and Food Safety, Directorate-General for Trade, European Commission. The discussion was moderated by Katerina Sokou, Washington DC Correspondent, Kathimerini/SKAI TV.
In a dynamic and pacey exchange, all panellists agreed that both the EU and the US need to move beyond the legacy issues in the trade relationship and build a positive agenda around the future challenges that we face. Ms Danger called for across-the-board cooperation, identifying a number of specific areas, including artificial intelligence, clinical research, clean technology and data transfers. She also called on both sides to renew multilateralism by working on reforms to the WTO – a sentiment that was shared by both Ambassador Gidwitz and Mr Schlegelmilch.
For their part, the Ambassador and the Director of DG Trade saw digital trade as a big upcoming challenge, with Ambassador Gidwitz underscoring the need to return a mechanism to transfer data across the Atlantic following the Court of Justice of the EU’s court ruling on the Privacy Shield. He highlighted that this mechanism represented about $50bn of services trade. Mr Schlegelmilch pointed to the EU’s proposal for a Trade and Technology Council as the forum by which the EU and the US could refine internet governance synchronously, by developing a common vision for the governance framework and setting standards that embody our shared values.
Ms Danger ended the day by expressing her optimism that the constructive approach to the relationship on both sides could eventually result in a solution to the ongoing tariff wars in both the aircraft manufacturing sector and on steel and aluminium.
View the discussion here.