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Diplomacy in Action

Transatlantic High Level Working Group on Investment: Work Plan


Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
August 5, 2011

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Purpose: Under the auspices of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), to have at our disposal a robust framework for the United States and European Union (EU) to cooperate on investment policy issues of mutual concern, such that both sides can effectively address important bilateral, third country and global investment policy developments and ensure that the transatlantic investment relationship continues to set the standard for open, transparent, and non-discriminatory international investment.

Participation: On the EU side, the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission would lead the delegation. On the U.S. side, the Department of State and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative would jointly lead the delegation, with active participation of the Department of the Treasury and Department of Commerce (and other agencies, as appropriate).

Meetings: We will hold an initial face-to-face meeting in the autumn of 2011. Thereafter, we will seek to hold discussions in person once annually and otherwise by DVC, as necessitated by the agenda. We will pursue an ongoing program of work between the face-to-face meetings and delegation leaders will communicate with each other, as necessary, in an effort to advance that work. The work of the Transatlantic High Level Working Group will be periodically reported to and reviewed by the TEC co-facilitators and TEC co-chairs, and considered by the full TEC when it meets.

Agenda: The Transatlantic High Level Working Group could explore the following categories of issues, with a view to narrowing down the scope of topics to be included in an ongoing agenda.

1. Transatlantic investment issues

a. Investment treaty practice: Discussion could focus on developments in our respective investment treaty practices, in light of the changes brought about by the Lisbon Treaty on the EU side and developments in BIT practice on the U.S. side. Sub-topics could include:

i. substantive provisions (e.g., approaches to investment protections and market access);

ii. dispute settlement provisions (e.g., approaches to investor-State arbitration); and

iii. negotiating priorities (ongoing and future negotiations).

b. Bilateral issues: Discussion could focus on legislative and regulatory developments in the EU and the United States that might affect investment horizontally or in particular sectors, as well as opportunities to enhance bilateral engagement.

2. Third countries: Discussion could focus on areas of mutual concern in key third markets, including how we can both collaborate and coordinate with respect to investment concerns in major emerging economies and pursue initiatives to encourage investment and support economic growth in other key countries and regions.

3. Global investment issues: Discussion could focus on understanding and addressing important developments in investment policies and practices worldwide, including investment issues relating to State control and State influence.



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