Chargé d’Affaires Adam Shub’s Remarks at AmCham Estonia’s Transatlantic Business Conference

November 3, 2017

Remarks (as prepared) by Chargé d’Affaires Adam Shub
AmCham Estonia Transatlantic Business Conference
Tallinn, Estonia

Thanks to Ambassador Melville for inviting me to participate today.

Thank you to former Foreign Minister Pentus-Rosimanus for her remarks and her sustained efforts to promote strong bilateral and transatlantic relations

And most of all, thank you AmCham Estonia and the Baltic American Freedom Foundation for organizing this conference and highlighting the importance of strengthened transatlantic ties.

The transatlantic partnership is more present than you think, and more necessary if we are to make progress together and separately on global challenges.

If the U.S.-EU partnership is closer than ever, it’s because we need each other more than ever to address the shared challenges and responsibilities we face in the world.

As we consider the state of transatlantic ties and look to the future, I always encourage others to take the long view.

This afternoon I would like to offer my thoughts on the transatlantic relationship broadly, and then on our economic ties.

But to begin, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge Estonia’s current term as president of the EU Council, where it has prioritized an open, secure, innovative, and sustainable EU.

I’ve seen the Estonian delegation’s work first hand in Brussels, and I have been incredibly impressed with the energy and focus of its presidency.

Notable progress during the first half of Estonia’s term include:

  • an agreement among EU Ministers on steps to adopt 5G networks,
  • rollout of a cybersecurity strategy
  • advancement on a common EU security and defense policy.

Estonia has used its presidency platform to showcase its own experience as a digital leader and to encourage the rest of Europe to accelerate the embrace of digital solutions to improve efficiencies for government, citizens, and businesses.

We support Estonia’s efforts to encourage a digital single market and the free flow of data, steps that will support Europe’s economic development and also make the European market a more attractive place for U.S. firms to do business.

Above all, I appreciate Estonia’s efforts to place strengthened transatlantic relations high on its presidency agenda.

Stepping back…We all remember where we were on 9/11, but also during the 2014 invasion of Crimea, the results of the Brexit vote, the 2016 US election, and the more recent French and Dutch elections.

We are in a new, more challenging era.

Information and data are now not only sources of great wealth but also political and military power.

This is a new paradigm.

Economic and social dislocation from globalization is shaking political establishments and driving wedges in societies. We are seeing the rise of  populism paired with stagnant economic growth,

Political narratives, whether European, American or Russian, driven by data and promulgated via social and traditional media, can challenge the status quo.

Cyber threats from Russia expose vulnerabilities; ideology from ISIS can create havoc.

The internet is making Europe more attractive to economic migrants from all over.

Migration, terrorism, disinformation, and the misuse of big data have all upset our democracies and our citizens and encouraged populism, anger, mistrust among voters.

How do we answer those fears?  Calm our citizens and focus our energies productively to meet those challenges?

Through partnership.  From security to trade and in defense of our market economies. (Yes, hurt, own-goals)… we have no choice to be partners.

What do these partnerships look like?  Let me highlight six areas:

  1. S. Commitment
  • It surprises me to be standing here today saying this, but I’ve never seen a commitment to our European allies like I have seen in the last eight months, all the political noise notwithstanding on both sides.
  • Washington understands the importance of this relationship, as we see by the number of high level visitors.
  • In the first eight months of the administration, we have hosted in Brussels: Vice President Pence, President Trump, Secretary Tillerson. Every week brings more calls, meetings
  • We need this level of engagement with Europe in order to make headway against these global challenges.
  1. Protecting Privacy
  • The Privacy Shield Framework is an important example of U.S.-EU cooperation on data protection issues.
  • Privacy Shield raised the bar for transatlantic data protection by providing a set of robust and enforceable protections for the personal data of EU individuals.
  • At present more than 2,500 U.S. and EU companies are certified to participate in the program. This is a program that underpins billions in international trade and protects EU citizen data.
  • As you may have seen, immediately before the annual review, the White House issued a statement making clear that the Administration’s support for Privacy Shield could not be stronger.
  • Commerce Secretary Ross and European Commissioner Jourova similarly expressed their commitment to the Framework in their joint press release issued at the conclusion of the review.
  • In October, the Commission released a report on the first annual review. The report concludes that the Framework continues to provide the level of privacy protection required under EU law and that the necessary structures have been implemented to ensure the functioning of the Framework.
  1. EU-NATO
  • 2014 was a turning point. The occupation of Crimea and eastern Ukraine reinforced the need for partnerships to support a Europe whole, free, and at peace.
  • EU-NATO cooperation – unbelievable even 5 years ago – is helping to counter hybrid threats, enhance resilience, build defense capacity, improve cyber defense, and enhance maritime security.
  • Both the EU and NATO support a new Center of Excellence established in Helsinki which will address how to counter hybrid threats.
  • NATO has contributed vessels to EU efforts in the Mediterranean and Aegean to counter illegal migration and arms smuggling.
  1. Combatting Terror
  • Fighting terrorism is about a lot of things, but key is information about terrorists – who they are, etc.
  • Cooperation in Europol helps identify and restrict travel of suspected terrorists. We have 10 U.S. agencies working in Europol. Track leads and share casework.
  • The EP passed theS.-EU Data Privacy and Protection Agreement – UMBRELLA agreement allows us to use valuable information in criminal and terrorism investigations. 
  1. Support for Sanctions
  • Aligning U.S. and EU sanctions maintains pressure on Russia to reverse the illegal annexation of Crimea and fully implement Minsk agreement.
  • We are fully supportive of the Franco-German Normandy
  • Washington visitor were in Brussels recently to coordinate Russia sanctions in light of new legislation. These sanctions are consistent with POTUS commitment to consult with allies and friends.  “No Surprises.”
  • Of course, sanctions aren’t just about Russia. We are also of course working together closely in other regions, from North Korea to Venezuela. 
  1. Global Cooperation
  • Our global cooperation extends into many other areas as well.
  • From the HOA to Mauritania, Afghanistan, Libya, Colombia, the Mediterranean, we work side by side, sharing information and danger.
  • Balkans – critical Europe’s Southern Flank (1914).
  • Our joint push led to the government formation in Macedonia.
  • S. and EU pushed for justice reform in Albania, which is being implemented.
  • Our work together in the western Balkans has led to a more stable business and investment environment.
  • Humanitarian vocation is second to none: Billions in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, South Sudan, Ethiopia

 Turning to a topic near and dead to this audience, the depth, breadth, and strength of transatlantic ties is perhaps nowhere more evident than in our economic relationship.

The United States is not a European power, but we are an economic power in Europe.

The U.S. economic relationship with the EU is the largest and most complex in the world, generating goods and services trade flows of about $2.7 billion per day.

The transatlantic economy generates $5.5 trillion in commercial sales each year, and employs 15 million workers on both sides of the ocean.

The United State is the number one market for EU global exports and is the EU second biggest importer. 45 our of 50 U.S. states export more to Europe than to China.

Our relationship accounts for one third of total goods and services trade and nearly half of global economic output.

We are each others’ primary investment partners. Total US investment in the EU is three times higher than in all of Asia, and EU investment in the US is around eight times the amount of EU investment in India and China together.

Most foreign workers at U.S. companies outside the United States are Europeans, and most foreign workers at European companies outside the EU are American.

The U.S. and the EU investments are at the core of the transatlantic relationship, contributing to both economic growth and job creation on both sides of the Atlantic.

EU efforts to create a digital single market have important implications for U.S. economic, commercial and political interests, and could fundamentally alter the digital economy ecosystem in Europe and beyond.

More broadly, we estimate completion of the DSM could increase Europe’s GDP by up to €415 billion annually.

U.S. businesses serving the EU market—especially leading tech companies—stand to reap gains from this growth.

The United States and the EU are each other’s largest trading partners for digitally deliverable services; in 2012, the U.S. exported $141 billion in digitally deliverable services to the EU, importing $86 billion.

Cross-border data flows between the United States and Europe are the highest in the world, 50 percent higher than the data flows between the United States and Asia, and almost double that of the United States and Latin America.

Commercial data flows are vital to the transatlantic economy.  It is crucial that we minimize divergence between U.S. and EU policies and regulatory approaches towards the digital economy.

The U.S.-EU economic relationship is a critical pillar of mutual prosperity, and we would like to see our economic relationship become even stronger.

POTUS/Juncker/Tusk agreed in May to a U.S.-EU strategic trade action plan. We are building out the agenda for that now.

We are working with the EU in the WTO to promote fair, rules based trade.

We are cooperating vis-à-vis 3rd countries, including China, to deter and respond to unfair trade practices.

Even in areas of disagreement we are working constructively to solve bilateral irritants/issues including endocrine disruptors, beef hormones, aircraft subsidies.

The relationship between the United States and the European Union has become deep and resilient because of our history, our belief in common values, and our joint prosperity.

These global challenges require the full strength of the transatlantic partnership to overcome them.

We look forward to building on our history of shared accomplishments