The signing of an “open skies” aviation deal to boost transatlantic flights is aimed at helping relations take off. Under the accord, four years in the making, any EU-based airline will be allowed to fly from any city in the EU to any American city, and vice versa – from March next year.
This initiative and others are aimed at making the transatlantic economy much more competitive, by reducing the regulatory burden on business and lowering consumer prices. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has estimated that reducing barriers would boost growth both ways by up to 3 percent.
Last year, the EU-27 exported 269 billion euros in goods to the United States while importing 178 billion euros-worth. The efficiency drive seeks similar rules on both sides of the Atlantic, to avoid testing things twice to certify them for the other’s market.
A Transatlantic Economic Council, led by EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen and White House economic adviser Allan Hubbard, will monitor progress in cosmetics, medical, automotive and electrical products.
The partners agreed to deliver results within six-to-eight months, on intellectual property (through the harmonization of patent rights), easing investment restrictions, cooperation in bio-fuels, and adopting common standards on secure trade, for example
the handling of goods through ports.