BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russia’s annexation of Crimea underlines the need for the United States and the European Union to substantially deepen their economic ties, Washington’s top trade official said on Saturday, opening the door to U.S. exports of natural gas to Europe.
Days before U.S. President Barack Obama and EU officials hold a summit in Brussels, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said the rationale “could never be stronger” for a U.S.-EU free-trade pact, despite growing public hostility to it.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders on Friday discussed accelerating moving energy supplies away from Russia, saying Moscow’s annexation of Crimea made them more determined to reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas.
The EU has made progress in improving its energy security after gas crises in 2006 and 2009, when rows over unpaid gas bills between Kiev and Moscow led to the disruption of supplies to western Europe. However, it has not managed to reduce Russia’s share of European energy supplies.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Influential European lawmakers backed a package of nearly 500 million euros ($695 million) in annual trade benefits for Ukraine on Thursday, opening the way for duty-free Ukrainian exports into the European Union from late April.
Brussels is giving Ukraine unfettered access to the 28-nation bloc’s 500 million consumers even before a proposed bilateral free-trade accord comes into force later this year to cement Kiev’s historic shift away from Russia.
BRUSSELS, March 14 (Reuters) – The European Union has yet to
convince Washington to commit to exporting U.S. gas under a
transatlantic trade deal despite two days of talks on the issue,
highlighting the challenges Europe faces to reduce its reliance
on Russian energy.
Tension between Russia and the West over the future of
Ukraine is spurring the European Union to renew efforts to end
decades of dependence on Russian gas. One solution would be
greater access to abundant U.S. resources.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and European Union leaders will promise to remove all tariffs on bilateral trade at a summit on March 26, an ambitious step towards the world’s largest free-trade deal, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.
The joint declaration, if delivered as laid out in the draft, seeks to overcome tensions following Washington’s offer to cut its duties by less than the Europeans had hoped for and after Brussels pledged to remove almost all of its own tariffs.
BRUSSELS, March 12 (Reuters) – Europe’s reluctance to buy
hormone meat or genetically modified food from the United States
has exposed an “enormous gulf” that threatens the world’s
biggest trade pact, industry and labour groups told EU and U.S.
negotiators on Wednesday.
Eight months into talks to create a transatlantic pact
encompassing almost half the world’s economy, divisions remain
over opening up to each others goods, rules governing the names
of foods and genetically modified food.
BRUSSELS, March 11 (Reuters) – The European Commission
agreed on Tuesday to give nearly 500 million euros ($685
million) worth of trade benefits to Ukraine, which had been
teetering towards default even before pro-Western unrest in Kiev
revived Cold War tensions.
The Commission plans to remove duties on a wide range of
agricultural goods, textiles and other imports in an effort to
support the Ukrainian economy, which is heavily dependent on
Russian energy supplies and running critically short of foreign
currency to meet debts or finance imports.
BRUSSELS, March 11 (Reuters) – Russia’s seizure of the
Crimea region of Ukraine is spurring the European Union to renew
efforts to end decades of dependence on Russian gas by
developing its own energy supplies and pushing for greater
access to abundant U.S. resources.
Ukraine is an important transit route for shipping Russian
gas by pipeline to the EU, which relies on Moscow for about a
third of its supplies.