Trade Commission Report Fails to Consider Latest E.U. Measures

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The USITC report on Competition between U.S. and ‘Major Foreign Supplier Industries,’ notably the EU, provides a wealth of information, although for serious researchers it would have been more helpful if the vast majority of this information had not been sourced from telephone calls and emails with unnamed interlocutors.

Similarly, it takes little note of either major legislative changes in the EU that will take full effect by the end of 2014, or the rise of what may well prove to be a major supplier to the world market, namely India, who, with the help of Israeli investment and technology and low labor costs is slated to put its oil on the market for the first time in the coming season.

This Report needs to be read with the backdrop of the ongoing negotiations between the US and the EU, set to resume for a second session next week, towards a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Central to US goals in these negotiations are: widespread deregulation; institutionalization of corporate lawsuits against states that take legislative actions that have the possibility of reducing profits of foreign investors, and minimization of the effects of the EU system of protecting registered designations of origin (PDO’s).

Labyrinthine legislative proposals like those suggested in the Report (which some see as cries for government help after a wrong-footed and highly speculative investment) will only expose a hypocrisy that cannot but weaken the US position in those negotiations.

In fact, a report on growth and jobs issued jointly by the EU and the US earlier this year talks specifically about reducing “redundant and burdensome testing and certification requirements.”

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