Moving the Trans-Atlantic Economic Council from Potential to Performance

Article excerpt

Good afternoon Madam Chairwoman and Senators. Thank you for inviting me. It is an honor to be here. My name is Michael Maibach, President and CEO of the European-American Business Council. We were founded in 1989 and have offices in Washington and Brussels. We represent 70 global companies, including 40 US and 30 European- based enterprises. Our companies possess cutting edge, competitive skills in the service of people across the globe. These skills include how to successfully collaborate with commercial and governmental partners across national and sectoral lines to drive economies of scale, promote innovation and meet the needs of customers in ways only possible because of these partnerships. These are the kind of skills, insights and best practices US officials must hone to keep us competitive in an exceptionally competitive world. The strategic skills I'm referring foster trans-national regulatory collaboration in ways which enhance investment and innovation. The pressure to hone these skills is coming from the forces of globalization. Of course, globalization has been with us since at least Columbus and Magellan. However, ever since the Berlin Wall came down globalization has been tumbling faster and faster through the streets of every nation, through the board rooms of every enterprise, and through the halls of every government on the planet. Today globalization is being driven by twin strategic vectors: First - China: After the Berlin Wall came down China embraced capitalism. This change in China caused India to throw open its doors to global markets, as well. Over night the world had 3 billion new capitalists competing for the future. Economic forces of historic proportions were set in motion. Compounding the impact of China and India have been several accelerants of change: Moore's Law of Computing has combined with Metcalf's Law of Networks to create the trans-national tsunami we call the Internet. Since 1947 the WTO has expanded from 23 to 139 nations tearing down centuries- old barriers to trade, investment, innovation and competition. And the world's population has doubled since John Kennedy was elected President. In summary, everything is changing, everywhere, very, very quickly. The world's vertical chess board has been flipped on to a horizontal axis. This means that every enterprise and every government survives and thrives in part because of the quality of its "horizontal partnerships". Government-to-government, company-to- company and government-to-industry collaboration are now fundamental to economic success in the 21st century. …