Earlier this month, the Obama administration published a joint U.S. and European Union request for public feedback on how to promote greater transatlantic regulatory compatibility.
The goal is to eliminate unnecessary burdens to trade that hinder economic growth and job creation, without degrading protections for health, safety, welfare and the environment.
Any progress could have a large impact given that the U.S. and EU economies together account for almost half of world GDP and nearly a third of world trade flows.
The U.S. and EU governments have been searching for regulatory harmony in many areas, including finance, for years. The Transatlantic Economic Forum (TEF) has been the primary vehicle for bringing together top administrators on both sides to discuss how to better align regulations and make compliance easier for companies.
Last year the TEF created a High-Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth focused on identifying traditional and technical barriers to trade, as well as areas where regulations with the same mission could be coordinated. The Sept. 7 letter
seeks specific ideas from businesses and individuals about how the two sides should prioritize their cooperation efforts.
Respondents are asked to provide detailed examples of differences between existing regulations in the United States and Europe that may impose unnecessary costs and burdens on American businesses, and on areas where the U.S. government should focus on future regulations affecting new and innovative growth markets and technologies, particularly for small and midsized businesses.
Ideas can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
In Europe the mailboxes are TRADE-F3-SECRETARIAT@ec.europa.eu
. The deadline is Oct. 31. Comments will be made public at http://www.regulations.gov
. - Eric Kulisch