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U.S. Treasury's Yellen vows to boost transatlantic cooperation

Andrea Shalal
·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Yellen holds a news conference in Washington

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stressed the importance of cooperation with the European Union in a call with the European Commission's vice president for the economy, Valdis Dombrovskis, on Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury Department said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Yellen in a conversation with European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde had also underscored ways to deepen transatlantic cooperation on economic and financial issues.

In her discussion with the EU executive, Yellen emphasized the importance of the transatlantic partnership and said she aimed to work more closely with Brussels on key challenges, including "ending the pandemic, supporting a strong global economic recovery, fighting income inequality, and forcefully addressing the threat of climate change," the Treasury said.

Yellen committed to re-engaging in discussions on international taxation to forge a timely international accord, and to seek solutions to key bilateral trade issues, it said.

The Biden administration is seeking to rebuild ties with European allies on all fronts after the deep rifts that characterized Donald Trump's presidency, and want to work together to counter what Yellen has called China's "abusive, unfair and illegal practices."

While Trump, a Republican, repeatedly took aim at European allies, threatening and imposing tariffs on a range of goods, the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden has sent far more positive signals on issues ranging from trade to taxes.

EU officials last week welcomed Washington's decision to refrain from imposing additional tariffs on EU goods in a long-running dispute over aircraft tariffs, and said they were ready to work to resolve trade disputes.

The United States and European countries have also said they will redouble efforts to reenergize and conclude talks on global taxation being led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Nearly 140 countries are negotiating the first update in a generation to the rules for taxing cross-border commerce, to account for the emergence of big tech companies like Alphabet Inc's Google, Apple Inc and Facebook Inc.

The talks stalled under the Trump administration after Yellen's predecessor suspended U.S. involvement, but OECD ministers say they now hope to reach a deal by mid-2021.

(Reporting by Eric Beech and Andrea Shalal, writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Leslie Adler)