Transatlantic Trade: US and European Trade Talk Update – July 12, 2020

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The United Kingdom (UK) unveiled its new human rights sanctions regime this past week, along with its first designations.  The United States (US) welcomed the action, and some US lawmakers continue to urge the European Union (EU) to adopt a similar regime.  Meanwhile, the EU moved forward with its trade policy review, with some seeking to provide the bloc with additional leverage in trade negotiations.  US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer spoke this week of transatlantic relationships and other trade matters, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Director-General selection process.  EU-UK talks continue to struggle, with some possible WTO concerns surrounding Britain’s impending full border control plan, which is due to be released this coming week.

European Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan held an exchange of views with the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament on Monday, 6 July.  As previously reported, the Commission published a consultation note on 16 June, announcing the launch of its review of the EU’s trade and investment policy.  Within this new approach, the European Commission is suggesting an “open strategic autonomy” as the new trade strategy of the European Union.  The Committee in general welcomed the European Commission’s plans, particularly on the new “open strategic autonomy” approach.



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