Participating: AmCham EU, AmCham Finland (next EC Presidency), AmCham Ireland, AmCham Italy, AmCham Romania (current EC Presidency)
Here are a few relevant takeaways from the meetings the delegation had with various U.S. stakeholders:
- Overall message from all stakeholders: the bedrock of the transatlantic relationship remains solid.
- Clear concern in Congress with regards to a ‘staged’ approach in EU-US trade. A deal without agriculture is a non-starter for Congress.
- The timing/scope/likelihood of 232 tariffs on cars is unclear. The only way to avoid tariffs is to demonstrate ‘progress’ on regulatory cooperation, China or industrial tariffs.
- Strong push-back from Congress and opposition to 232 tariffs on cars and the Administration’s rhetoric and actions towards allies such as Europe. Some Republicans are ready to put their support for USMCA in the balance to prevent new tariffs.
- China is the number one issue. The US looks to the EU to continue to step up on China. It is an area where US officials would like to see more cooperation.
- USMCA is the other key trade priority, not Europe.
- Clear message from the Administration to get past the rhetoric and look at the numerous areas of positive transatlantic cooperation: China, WTO reform, investment screening, development finance, women’s economic empowerment, ongoing FTA talks, etc. At the same time, there is a consistent message delivered that the irritants in the relationship are digital taxation, state-aid and other regulations seen to be targeting US companies specifically.
- There continues to be a lack of understanding on both sides of each other’s political realities (European elections, agriculture in Congress, etc.).
- There is also a need to continue to explain the benefits of the European Single Market to both government and the private sector.