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Barroso To Discuss Trade, Economic Issues During US Visit

by Glen Shapiro,, New York

08 January 2007

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso has travelled to Washington to meet with President George W. Bush at the White House today.

President Barroso is accompanied by External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson.

While the meeting has an open agenda, issues under discussion are likely to include trade and economic relations as well as the Doha Development Round, energy security, climate change, the Middle East, and a range of global challenges to which the US and the EU have an interest in a joint response.

This is President Barroso's second bilateral visit to the White House.

Speaking ahead of his departure, President Barroso announced that:

"I am looking forward to discuss with President Bush where we now stand on the main global challenges facing us and how we can move these forward together during 2007. Europe and the US are committed to the values of freedom of democracy, and to projecting those values in the world. Fighting terrorism and continuing peace efforts in the Middle East are two crucial examples where we need to keep working closely together. The US is also the EU's most important economic relationship. Our economies are more interdependent than ever before."

He added:

"I will be raising a number of specific issues with President Bush: Europe and the US have a joint interest in working together for secure and sustainable energy supplies for the future, as the Commission prepares to present a comprehensive and ambitious energy / climate policy package for Europe next week."

"The economic case for taking action to manage climate change is beyond dispute. In this area we also have much to gain from teaming up, despite our differences. The moment of truth for the Doha trade negotiations is fast approaching, and the US holds the key to making a deal possible in 2007. The alternative, a delay of several years, would come at a high price for all."

The EU-US trade relationship represents more than 1 billion dollars a day. Two thirds of the global investment flows into the US stem from Europe (60.1 billion dollars in 2005). The transatlantic economy is estimated to generate roughly 3 trillion dollars a year in total commercial sales, and employs roughly 14 million workers on both sides of the Atlantic. Together, the EU and the US represent 40% of world trade.

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