Senior officials of the U.S. Department of State and the European Commission gathered on Monday, November 16, 2015, to review progress, discuss new opportunities, and take steps to re-energize joint collaboration under the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC). The TEC brings together officials from external trade, regulatory, commercial and scientific agencies in the EU and the United States Government to support innovation and growth. Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment for the United States and Jean-Luc Demarty, Director-General of the Directorate-General for Trade (DG TRADE) for the EU, led the discussion.
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 prototype tools to support international interoperability of patient data summaries in electronic health records, and common curricula to train health workers in the use of e-health technologies;
- Working together to better anticipate the demand/supply trends for raw material/critical material elements, and their conservation throughout the product life-cycle, supporting sustainable approaches and adequate supplies in coordination with government and external stakeholders;
- Supporting development of our small and medium enterprises through the U.S.–EU SME Workshop, most recently held on April 21, 2015, and implementing cooperation agreements on joint export promotion and economic development through technology cluster mapping.
Ms. Novelli and Mr. Demarty 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 in spring 2016. A full report of the meeting will be published shortly by the U.S. Department of State and DG TRADE.
The TEC will continue to operate in parallel with the ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations.
U.S. and EU leaders established the TEC in 2007, to help guide and spur forward economic cooperation between them.
Since then, the TEC has enabled the United States and the EU 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, U.S. and EU 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 TTIP, which are now well underway.
The last meeting of the TEC led by Ms. Novelli and Mr. Demarty took place on February 18, 2015. More information can be found at www.state.gov/p/eur/rt/eu/tec/.