EU-US working group to spur joint agenda

Senior trade advisers from both sides will meet in Washington on 20 August

Photo: EU Miguel Arias Cañete

The EU-US Executive Working Group which became operational a week ago with the aim to carry the joint agenda following the deal between US President Donald Trump and EC President Jean-Claude Juncker of 25 July, will meet on 20 August. For this meeting the trade adviser of President Juncker and a senior EU trade official will visit Washington and will have talks with their US counterparts to continue work on implementing the Joint Statement.

Within the framework of this Executive Working Group the EU and the US are making efforts to increase American exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe. According to the Commission since the arrival of the first US LNG carrier in the Portuguese port of Sines in April 2016 and today, EU imports of liquefied natural gas from the other side of the Atlantic have increased from zero to 2.8 billion cubic meters.

As Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, stated, diversification is an important element for ensuring the security of gas supply in the EU. Increasing imports of competitively priced liquefied natural gas from the US is therefore to be welcomed, he pointed out adding that this is happening at a time when EU indigenous gas production is declining more rapidly than foreseen and there is an accelerated phase-out of coal power plants in the EU.

Since the establishment of the Executive group contacts have taken place between Presidents Juncker and Trump, between EU Trade Commissioner Malmstrom and US Trade Representative Lighthizer, and between the senior advisers of President Juncker and President Trump - Commission Secretary-General Martin Selmayr and White House Chief Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow.

Boosting the EU's imports of American soybeans was also part of the agreement between the two presidents. Currently Europe's purchasing of soybeans from US indicates an increase of 283% . It makes EU's total share of imports of US soybeans to 37%, up from 9% one year ago.

EC President has put in place on 1 August a bi-monthly reporting mechanism on trade in soybeans from the US to the EU and it was the first concrete follow-up to the Joint Statement.



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