The United States remains one of the EU’s most important partners. Transatlantic cooperation is based on shared objectives and takes on various forms. There is close co-operation to support democratic reforms in North Africa, the Middle East, the EU's Eastern neighbourhood and the Balkans, as well to tackle many other specific challenges such as Iran and Syria. The EU and US have also begun to intensify their co-operation on promoting peace, prosperity and human rights in the Asia-Pacific region.
The launching of negotiations should be a powerful sign of re-investment in the potential of the transatlantic economy and a gradual return to growth in the EU. Both EU and US face domestic economic problems and competitive pressures from emerging economies, and need new sources of growth. Agreement should also signal EU-US commitment to open markets, and reinforce our respective efforts to break down trade barriers in the Asia-Pacific region.