The first ever Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC)meeting was held inWashington DC, US on 9 November 2007. The aim of the TEC is, amongst others, to strengthen joint EU/American action on reducing regulatory barriers to trade, protecting intellectual property rights, ensuring secure trade, integrating financialmarkets, promoting innovation and technology and encouraging investment. The TEC, while striving tomake transatlantic cooperationmore transparent, provides a channel for stakeholders such as citizens, consumers and producers on both sides of the Atlantic tomake their views known.

The TEC was created at the EU/US Summit in April 2007 in order to foster transatlantic economic integration. The TEC has several permanent members: on the European side, the Commissioners for External Relations, for Trade, and for the InternalMarket and Financial Services, and on the US side, the Secretaries of the Treasury and Commerce and the US Trade Representative.

Diplomats fromthe US and EU are laying the groundwork for an unprecedented round of bilateral bargaining in which all of themain transatlantic trade disputes would be put on the table and negotiated at once including politically controversial trade topics, such as Internet gambling and geneticallymodified food. Sectors which been chosen for priority discussions include: ICT (information and communications technology) and electrical equipment,medical devices, pharmaceutical products, and cosmetics.