| GEO Business|
EU, US vow to fine-tune trade regulations
| Updated at: 1118 PST, Saturday, December 18, 2010|
WASHINGTON: The United States and the European Union vowed to cut back on trade barriers and hammer out a better definition of joint regulations, aiming to boost jobs amid a stagnant global economy.
"The more I do with respect to trade, the more I'm convinced that there is a lot of added value in (getting rid) of non-tariff barriers," said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht after talks here.
The two economic powers agreed to work together to draw up joint standards for such things as new technology, the intelligent electronic networks and electric cars.
De Gucht was speaking after a meeting of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), set up in 2007 to boost economic convergence across the Atlantic.
The meeting "looked at how the EU and the US can better cooperate on new regulations early on in the process. They agreed to a set of agreed regulatory principles," a statement said.
It also "saw the launch of a joint website against counterfeiting," the statement added.
"The portal aims to help EU and US companies to fully utilize the intellectual property rights related resources and tools developed on both sides of the Atlantic."
Long the two principal drivers of the world economy, both the United States and the EU have recently been mired in slow growth and relatively high levels of unemployment.
The trend -- coupled with the rise of emerging economies like China, India and Brazil -- has further called transatlantic primacy into question, despite the United States and Europe accounting for around half of global gross domestic product.
Despite the talk of cooperation, both sides face a long list of transatlantic trade disputes, from agricultural subsidies to World Trade Organization disputes over aid to aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus.
The two companies are currently locked in fierce competition for a US Air Force aerial refueling tanker contract worth tens of billions of dollars.