Interlocking Global Business Systems: The Restructuring of Industries, Economies and Capital Markets

By Edward B. Flowers; Thomas P. Chen et al. | Go to book overview

into force of the customs union of the EEC in mid-1968 ahead of schedule and the concomitant effects Common External Tariff (CET) had on U.S. exports to the EEC. This was contrary to the U.S. postwar vision of a liberalized international trade regime, for which the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) had been launched in 1947.

The momentous launching of the 1985 White Paper on the "Completion of the Internal Market" and the subsequent enshrinement of the Single European Market (SEM) agenda in the Single Europe Act in 1986, inevitably created some opportunities and potential conflict areas for the EC and its external economic partners without avoiding internal conflicts as well. The United States was basically receptive to the SEM idea, because this is today's trend, globalization, which will eventually supplant the nation-state and oppress individuals. During the second half of the 1980s, a new dispute started between the European Community and the United States. In 1987, the EC ban on the importation of "hormone-treated beef".

The latest of the well-celebrated trade disputes between the transatlantic partners centered on the recently concluded Uruguay Round of the GATT. These disputes were over subsidized agricultural exports and over differences in culture, pointedly, the liberal cinematic industry. These trade disputes were resolved somewhat prior to the conclusion and signing of the GATT in 1994. Although there were areas of disputes, the two entities have remained in a seemingly good relationship. The United States and European Union remain each other's largest and best trading partner, in terms of sales volume, reliable markets for products and many other areas. Direct investment in each other's private sector is impressive and may have consequently led to job creation. Meanwhile, as the European Union consolidated, through the deepening and the widening of integration, its economic power soon rivaled that of the United States.

On December 3, 1995, the EU-U.S. Summit took place in Madrid and marked the beginning of a new era in transatlantic relations. The New Agenda was endorsed by Presidents Santer and Clinton and Prime Minister Gonzalez. The objectives of the summit were promoting peace, development and democracy around the world, responding to global challenges, contributing to the expansion of world trade and closer economic relations and building bridges across the Atlantic. President Santer stated at the meeting that, "Together we can make a difference is the key sentence of this exercise. By acting jointly rather than just consulting each other we can set an example in world leadership. But we must focus our efforts and define our priorities." The New Agenda was building on the Transatlantic Declaration of November 23, 1990.

A clear priority for both partners was the strengthening of the multilateral trading by supporting the World Trade Organization (WTO) and leading the way in efforts to achieve further global market opening. Bilaterally, the European Union and the United States are taking steps to create a "new transatlantic marketplace" by progressively reducing or eliminating barriers that hinder the flow of goods, services and capital, and by moving from "the policies of consultation" to "the policies of joint action." 5

EU-U.S. discourse is now focused on the proposed "Trans-Atlantic Free Trade

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