US cargo scanning law unfair- EU envoy

EU

A US law requiring the European Union and other countries to eventually scan all cargo headed to the United States forces other countries to pay for US security -- without getting the same benefit in return.

“There’s no reciprocity here,” John Bruton, the European Commission’s ambassador to the US, said in an interview with Reuters reporters. “Our exporters are being asked to bear costs for the benefit of the United States, which the United States is not prepared to bear for others.” The law signed last year by President George W. Bush requires by 2012 that all seaborne containers be scanned for radiation before they leave port for the United States to check that they do not contain nuclear weapons. The legislation would require European ports to make massive new infrastructure investments to keep goods flowing smoothly to the United States, Bruton said. “There just isn’t places to put all these trucks that would be queuing up to be scanned,” Bruton said. “But most of all, we know the United States isn’t proposing to scan 100% of the containers destined for Europe. We could have a terrorist attack just as much as the United States could,” he said.

The US and the EU already have “risk-based” container-security programs aimed at helping identify any deadly cargo headed toward their shore. Both programs extend simplified customs checks to companies, that provide detailed information about their supply chain and have been approved for the program by customs authorities. Last year, the United States and the EU agreed to work toward mutual recognition of each other’s program sometime in 2009. EU officials hope that would help persuade Congress to repeal the 100% scanning requirement.

In the interview, Bruton also stressed the deep and growing economic ties between the US and EU. While bilateral trade is huge, it accounts for only about 20% of the economic flows across the Atlantic, he said. The other 80% is US company investment in the EU and EU company investment in the United States, he said. As the United States and the EU work on creating a “barrier-free” transatlantic marketplace, they should focus on creating new business opportunities for each other’s banks, airlines and other service providers, he said. An “open skies” pact liberalizing airline travel between the US and the EU would yield more benefits from the Doha round of world trade talks, he said. (Reuters)

ADVERTISEMENT

European e-commerce soars during pandemic - study Analysis

European e-commerce soars during pandemic - study

Lawmakers approve 2022 budget Parliament

Lawmakers approve 2022 budget

Duncan Graham reelected as BCCH president Appointments

Duncan Graham reelected as BCCH president

Budapest launches revamped coupon card for visitors City

Budapest launches revamped coupon card for visitors

SUPPORT THE BUDAPEST BUSINESS JOURNAL

Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.