Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Icelandic business community looks at the U.S./EU trade and investment pact

The American Icelandic Chamber of Commerce hosted a breakfast meeting to discuss a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) announced by President Obama and European Union President Van Rompuy. There was broad consensus among the presenters (Jon Sigurðsson from Össur, Henrik Bendixen from the European Union, and Ambassador Ellertsdóttir) that the TTIP offers an enormous opportunity to boost trade and investment and strengthen the transatlantic relationship.

Many shared concerns about the potential impact of such an agreement on EFTA and Iceland’s trade position. While many of these questions could not be answered, the event provided the Icelandic business community with a great opportunity to begin a good discussion on Iceland’s trade policies. I made the point that increasing trade with Iceland is a priority for the United States and noted that the U.S. remains the largest foreign direct investor in Iceland and that American firms continue to flock to Iceland.