Transatlantic Business Relations and Sweden
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Today, the Chamber's Europe & Eurasia team hosted Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafström for a discussion of the priorities of the Swedish EU Presidency, which begins July 1st, and the implications for transatlantic business relations.
Ambassador Hafström listed climate change policy, energy policy, and continued enlargement of the European Union as important priorities of the Swedish EU Presidency. The main institutional challenge for the EU, he noted, will be to gain approval of the Lisbon Treaty, which would then be the likely basis for the next European Commission. The Ambassador expressed firm commitment to the Transatlantic Economic Council and emphasized the importance of regulatory cooperation as a key part of the TEC agenda going forward. He also addressed in detail the continued commitment of the Swedish government to enforce intellectual property rights.
In addition, John Murphy, Chamber Vice President for International Affairs, discussed the Obama Administration's views on trade. He expressed faith in the Administration's growing appreciation of the importance of trade and reemphasized the Chamber's willingness to address climate change. However, he noted the Chamber would not back "unilateral measures" and noted that any agreement would need to be universal. Chamber VP Gary Litman also made a number of points regarding the importance of regulatory cooperation between the US and EU, the Chamber's commitment to TEC, and our continued interest in strengthening transatlantic ties.
Altogether it was a very interesting and informative event, and the energy and engagement of Ambassador Hafstrom portends a positive and constructive EU presidency for Sweden.