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Europe

Spain Proposes EU-U.S. Trade Zone

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar unveils an ambitious proposal which could see the world’s two biggest economies form a freetrade zone within a decade.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has unveiled an ambitious proposal which could see the world’s two biggest economies form a free trade zone within a decade. During a visit to Washington, where he addressed American business leaders, Aznar said the two economies, which account for around half of all world trade should establish an "Atlantic Economic Zone." June’s bilateral EU-U.S. summit has been earmarked as the venue to set the plan in motion, with the creation of a "High Level Economic Commission." Within 12 months this body would present an "action plan" identifying regulatory obstacles and "establishing a precise calendar for their elimination, within the course of a decade". But Aznar’s optimistic agenda contrasts sharply with the array of trade disputes which continue to plague the EU-U.S. economic relationship and slow progress in trade convergence. ( EUobserver.com)