Sarah's speech to Parliament on the EU-US Summit
Sarah Ludford on behalf of the ALDE Group. - Madam President I am privileged to serve as vice-Chair of the Delegation for Relations with the US under the strong leadership of Elmar Brok. My own knowledge and expertise is principally in the area of justice human rights and security. Naturally therefore I put a great deal of emphasis on the parts of our resolution which stress the shared transatlantic values of liberty democracy human rights and the rule of law and also the cooperation we are pursuing to guarantee liberty and security.
I do feel that we fall into the danger of taking each other too much for granted. Despite or perhaps because of how interdependent we are we do not invest in the EU-US relationship to the extent it requires. But the economic crisis demands that we prioritise jobs and growth so the great interest in a transatlantic initiative for jobs and growth which MEPs expressed already in a resolution in September and repeat in the present resolution is fully justified. The remarks made by Commissioner De Gucht suggest the determination that the text should take up on that.
Cutting barriers to mutual trade and investment is a 'no-brainer' when you look at the figures. It was a Commission study in 2009 which talked about the huge sums that could be added to the US economy and even more to the EU economy if we freed up transatlantic trade. In the case of the EU the figure was USD 158 billion; the US figure was USD 53 billion. As Commissioner De Gucht said the transatlantic legislative dialogue pushed firmly by our Chair is adopting a very focused and business-like working method. We quite rightly have to justify our overseas trips to our constituents; I believe we can do so by showing that by meeting our Congressional counterparts MEPs can improve our constituents' job prospects and their ease of travel and doing business.