Mr President, we welcome the conclusion to these trade wars over beef and think it should be a moment for reflection. With the rise and growth of the economic power of the BRIC countries, the US and the EU share a huge interest in ensuring that the WTO rules are respected. Long-lasting conflicts such as this one, which has lasted for almost 15 years, do huge damage to effective multilateralism. This report should be used as a stepping stone for broader EU-US trade relations.
We ask our American counterparts to respond in good faith and remove the BSE ban on EU beef. In both the EU and the US we can benefit from keeping the global perspective in mind. Doing so should push us closer to breaking down trade barriers and moving towards a more integrated trans-Atlantic market space to drive jobs and growth and to launch the free trade negotiations at the next EU-US Summit. Our cooperation should be based on mutual trust, reciprocity and complementarity. In line with this sense of urgency, I believe we should all – Parliament, the Commission and the External Action Service – work to encourage the US to stop any disproportionate protectionist measures.
The remarks by President Sarkozy, who wants to match the ‘Buy American’ clauses with ‘Buy European’ measures, shows what kind of downward spiral this can lead to, and it would be undesirable. Our perspective should not be focused inward; we should be on the ball and aware of global competition: the competition for trade, talent and, eventually, values. So we should work together with an open mind.