MEPs on the current state of U.S.-EU relations

On February 25, 2020, the Meridian Corporate Council partnered with AT&T to host 7 European Parliamentarians from the Committee on International Trade for a discussion regarding ‘The Current State of U.S.-EU Relations’ during this time of tensions between the two economies.  

In recent months, the US-EU relationship has undergone a variety of tense points that have put stress on a historically good relationship. The Committee on International Trade (INTA) made clear that relations remained good but had undergone strain. Chair Bernd Lange explained that the two economies lacked a good understanding of the wants and needs of the other. The INTA committee holds an important position in the European Parliament due to their responsibility for passing all trade agreements, tariffs, and general trade issues for the parliament. As a unified voice, each member spoke about the need to restart the discussion and negotiations regarding airplane, agricultural, and automotive tariffs. Both economies use a value-based trade lens to evaluate how they invest their money, so geopolitically, it would be beneficial to both parties to work together.  

However, while the EU parliamentarians argued for closer ties and the need to work together, the private sector attendees laid out some of their concerns regarding EU policies and supply chains. China and the technology regulations were two points of contention for the corporate leaders. Primarily, China has grown to become a systematic competitor in both the US and EU economies. Concerns that the EU was not pushing back enough against China led to a two-fold discussion. The EU parliamentarians explained that they implemented anti-dumping and anti-subsidy policies along with stricter regulations, while questioning the U.S. reactionary stance of tariffs. The corporate leaders held a consensus that a change in the US-China relationship was need, but many were unsure if the results were worth the battleIn addition to China, the topic of artificial intelligence and technology began a discussion regarding the new EU regulations surrounding artificial intelligence. The technology companies in the room suggested that further discussion and steps needed to be take to in terms of cooperation.  

While much of the discussion revolved around the lack of trust between the economies, both the EU Parliamentarians and the Corporate leaders seemed to agree that restoring the trust was important to the future of economic ties.

Photos by Jessica Latos

Sponsor

AT&T

Project summary

MEPs on the current state of U.S.-EU relations
Regions: Europe and Eurasia, Western Hemisphere
Countries: Belgium, United Kingdom, United States, France, Portugal, Italy, Spain
Impact Areas: Business and Trade
Program Areas: Convening