Transatlantic Task Force on Trade

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The Transatlantic Task Force on Trade and Investment – a major trade-policy initiative by the European Centre for International Political Economy and the German Marshall Fund of the United States – was launched in May 2011 to spur greater leadership on future trade policy in Europe and the United States.

Co-chaired by Ewa Björling, the Swedish Minister for trade, and Jim Kolbe, former member of the U.S. Congress and Senior Transatlantic Fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Task Force brought together a high-level group of recognised international scholars and practitioners from academia, business, civil society and public policy.

The Task Force has been launched at a difficult time for trade policy. Overall, trade policy in the EU and the U.S. is fighting against diminishing expectations and general fatigue with global trade talks in the past years. The crisis, and prior global economic trends, have also shown how trade links up with many other central economic issues – and how crude mercantilist notions, yet again on the rise, are badly suited to guide an effective trade policy assisting economic growth and job creation. Fundamentally, the rise of Asia has put some Western leaders on a defensive footing and disabled the leadership role played by the transatlantic partners in the past decades, without anyone else taking up the fallen mantle. The overall question the Task Force will seek to answer is: what role is there for transatlantic leadership for trade policy in the near-to-medium term future?

The policy recommendations of the Task Force were published in a final report in February 2012. Transatlantic leadership for global trade policy at the World Trade Organisation and bilateral transatlantic relations is at the centre of the report, which also focuses on the challenge of restoring public support for trade openness.

Transatlantic Task Force Members: 


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For further comments, please contact Fredrik Erixon ( at +32 (0)499 053 107

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