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Transatlantic Economic Council Announces Progress on Pure Biofuels

Washington, DC, Nov 16, 2007

U.S. National Economic Council Director Allan Hubbard and European Commission Vice President Günter Verheugen, Co-Chairs of the Transatlantic Economic Council, November 9, 2007

Last week in Washington, DC, representatives of the United States and the European Union took new steps to reduce regulatory barriers to trade.

The progress was made on November 9 during the first meeting of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), a forum launched by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President George W. Bush in April. [see related article]

TEC chairs EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen and Allan Hubbard, chief of the White House National Economic Council, were optimistic that the strategic discussions would help significantly boost trans-Atlantic trade. Annual EU-US trade totals $909.3 billion and accounts for 40 per cent of all world trade.

In the area of pure biofuels – pure bioethanol and biodiesel – Verheugen and Hubbard confirmed that preliminary agreements have been reached, in conjunction with counterparts in Brazil, on the compatibility of certain existing regulatory standards. Additional areas have been identified in which further progress [i.e., compatibility] can be made in 2008. Recommendations from the experts are expected before the end of this year.

Produced from organic matter such as wood by-products and agricultural crops, biofuels are renewable energy products that can be converted into gas for use as fuel. Large-scale commoditization of biofuels could diversify the energy infrastructure, improve energy security and bring about a host of economic, social and environmental benefits.

“ . . . .we’re all . . . very hopeful that biofuels are going to do a lot for both Europe and the U.S. in terms of energy security, dealing with climate, et cetera, . . .” said Hubbard.

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