Cooperation Arrangement Between The United States Department of Commerce International Trade Administration and European Commission Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
February 27, 2015

   

INTRODUCTION

The International Trade Administration of the United States Department of Commerce, and the European Commission Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs,

Recognizing the close trade and economic relationship between the United States and the European Union;

Reaffirming the importance of cooperation to the development of commercial relations between them;

Emphasizing the significant role that Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) play in driving national economic prosperity and international trade; Recalling the decision at the December 2010 meeting of the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) to collaborate on ways to increase trade and investment opportunities for U.S. and EU SMEs;

Recalling the cooperation under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the International Trade Administration of the United States Department of Commerce and the European Commission's Directorate­ General for Enterprise and Industry on 3 December 2012;

Intending the activities under this Cooperation Arrangement to be carried out on the basis of equality and mutual benefit;

Set out their intentions in this Cooperation Arrangement.

1. PURPOSE

The International Trade Administration of the United States Department of Commerce, and the European Commission Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, intend to continue to cooperate in order to facilitate the exchange of information about SMEs; provide for SME networking opportunities; and promote international trade and business cooperation between U.S. and European SMEs.

2. PARTICIPANTS

The participants to this Cooperation Arrangement are as follows:

(1) The International Trade Administration (ITA) of the United States Department of Commerce, whose mission is to "foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce... of the United States" (15 U.S.C. §1512), and to fulfil its mission, works to improve the global business environment and help U.S. organizations, especially SMEs, compete at home and abroad, as well as promote U.S. exports to sustain economic growth and support American jobs,

(2) The Directorate-General for Internal . Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) of the European Commission, whose mission is to strengthen Europe's industrial base and promote the transition to a low carbon economy; to ensure an open internal market for goods; to promote innovation as a means to generate new sources of growth and meet societal needs; and to encourage the creation and growth of SMEs and promote an entrepreneurial culture.

3. AIM OF COOPERATIVE ACTIVITIES

(1) The Participants aim to cooperate in several different areas involving the ITA's U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, the trade promotion arm of ITA with a global network of trade professionals in over 75 countries, and the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), a worldwide network of 600 business and innovation support organizations managed by DG GROW:

Exchange of information on events and other joint networking opportunities for SMEs;

Identifying respective contact points and services on EEN and ITA websites;

Cooperation on specific SME events and promotion of relevant business partnering activities;

Participation of ITA and EEN representatives at priority sectoral or thematic seminars or other events organized by the Participants where appropriate;

Establishment of a Working Group to coordinate these activities, as described in point 4 below; and

Dissemination of relevant information generated by other U.S.-EU working groups, including those under the Transatlantic Economic Council work program.

(2) The Participants also intend to share relevant information and best practices on innovation, entrepreneurship, access to finance, and to promote the preparation of cooperative projects and business cooperation relating to SMEs. Additionally, in a manner consistent with each Participant's internal policies, each Participant may include links to the other's websites on its own websites.

4. WORKING ARRANGEMENTS

The Participants intend to appoint a number of representatives to be responsible for coordinating matters relating to this Cooperation Arrangement. It is intended that the appointed representatives consult on a regular basis on the practical details of facilitating cooperation as intended through this Cooperation Arrangement.

5. OTHER PROVISIONS

(1) This Cooperation Arrangement is not intended to create any legal obligations under domestic or international law between the Participants or their countries or institutions and does not constitute an international agreement. No provision of this arrangement is to be interpreted or implemented as creating legal rights or binding commitments for the Participants.

(2) Each Participant is to bear its own costs and expenditures that may be incurred in the course of the cooperation intended through this Cooperation Arrangement.

(3) The activities of the Participants undertaken pursuant to this Cooperation Arrangement are contingent on the availability of funds and other resources, and subject to the laws, regulations, and internal policies that govern each of them.

(4) Each Participant, to the extent permitted by its governing laws and regulations, is to protect from disclosure personal, proprietary and business confidential information provided by SMEs.

(5) The Participants acknowledge that the cooperation anticipated under this Cooperation Arrangement is to be on a non-exclusive basis.

(6) The Participants intend to cooperate through this Cooperation Arrangement until December 31, 2019, at which time the arrangement may be extended upon the written consent of the Participants.

(7) This Cooperation Arrangement may be modified at any time by the Participants in writing. The Cooperation Arrangement may be discontinued by either Participant at any time, but each Participant endeavours to provide prior written notice of 60 days to the other Participant if discontinuing.

Signed, in duplicate, in Washington, DC, on this 27 day of February, 2015.

 

For the Directorate-General for
Internal Market, Industry,
Entrepreneurship and SMEs of
the European Commission
For the United States
Department of Commerce,
International Trade
Administration

 

Daniel Calleja Crespo
Director-General

 

Stefan M. Selig
Under Secretary