Shaheen, former chair of Subcommittee on European Affairs, affirms support for transatlantic trade agreement

February 13, 2013

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) continued her ongoing efforts to promote trade between the United States and Europe as she applauded last night’s announcement that the Obama Administration is poised to launch trade talks with the European Union on a $5 trillion transatlantic trade agreement. President Obama announced the intent to launch negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership last night during his State of the Union address.

 As the former Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, Shaheen has been a leader in calling for further economic cooperation between the two global leaders.

“In today’s global economy, Europe is by far America’s most important ally," Shaheen said.  "Europe and the United States, who together form the world's largest single commercial relationship valued at over $4 trillion, face continuing fiscal challenges to spur economic growth. Eliminating tariffs and reducing trade barriers will have an enormous benefit in strengthening our economic relationship and creating jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.”

According to a 2010 study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, cutting tariffs could boost trade by more than $120 billion within five years and generate GDP gains of $180 billion. In addition, for every dollar in goods traded across the Atlantic, nearly four dollars are invested between the United States and Europe, and these investment dollars from Europe lead to jobs in the United States.  European investment supports tens of thousands of jobs in New Hampshire and an estimated seven million jobs across the country. 

“With much of the global attention turning to rapidly developing economies, like China, India, and Brazil, it is easy to forget that, by far, America's largest, most vibrant, and perhaps most critical economic relationship is with Europe,” Shaheen added. “We must continue to build on this transatlantic foundation if we are to further grow our economy and create jobs here at home.”

A successfully negotiated Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would aim to boost economic growth in the United States and Europe and add to the over 13 million American and European jobs already supported by transatlantic trade and investment.  In particular, the Partnership would aim to:

  • Further open markets to grow the $459 billion in U.S. goods and services exports to the EU, our largest export market, which already supports an estimated 2.4 million well-paying American jobs. 
  • Strengthen rules-based investment to grow the world’s largest investment relationship.  The United States and the EU already maintain a total of nearly $4 trillion in investment in each other’s economies, supporting nearly 7 million jobs. 
  • Tackle costly “behind the border” non-tariff barriers that impede the flow of goods and services trade.
  • Seek to significantly cut the cost of differences in regulation and standards by promoting greater compatibility, transparency, and cooperation.
  • Enhance cooperation on the development of rules and principles on issues of global concern, including on market-based disciplines for State-Owned Enterprises, combating discriminatory localization barriers to trade, and promoting the global competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Shaheen chaired three hearings in the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs in 2009, 2011 and 2012 to examine the economic, trade and investment ties between the United States and Europe. She also cosigned a letter by current Secretary of State John Kerry in February 2012 and has delivered several public speeches urging the Obama Administration to work towards this transatlantic trade agreement.

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