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Extraterritoriality: a threat to Europe?

Vedrenne EP
European Union 2020 - Source : EP

La députée européenne française et Vice-présidente de la Commission du commerce international Marie-Pierre Vedrenne (MoDem) nous alerte sur les dérives des Etats-Unis en matière d'extraterritorialité et souhaite renforcer l'arsenal législatif européen. 

"Through trade policy, through our trade agreements, we export goods and services in particular, but we also export our values.

The United States acts on several levels to limit the willingness of some companies to operate in other territories. How concretely? Perhaps with the introduction of embargoes, as soon as you use the dollar - and we know the weight of this currency internationally, as soon as you trade with another State and you go through American servers, for example, as soon as there is a link with their territory, they use extraterritorial laws - there are different laws, on terrorism, on corruption, on the tax field - and they prevent us from commercial activities.

How? In fact, by telling us: "if you trade, you lose access to our market. Or you will be fined. We are going to start legal proceedings". And what happens? Our companies, they have a link with the American market, which is an extremely important market. So they are making strategic choices and they say, "I am not going to abandon the American market. So I'm giving up other markets. This is in fact the limit of our freedom, our sovereignty, our capacity to no longer be dependent only on the Americans.

Extraterritoriality is, in my view, a threat to Europe. Why is this? Because, as we can see, it is a question of freedom, it is a question of sovereignty, it is also a question of compliance with international law.

How can the European Union really act - effectively against - the excesses of extraterritoriality? There are several levers: legal levers, having legislation that mirrors American legislation. Strengthen its legal arsenal. And then there is also the will to work better with our companies, with other partners to limit the weight of the United States. And the European Union must demonstrate that through new agreements it is really protecting its ambitions, its values and its interests".

I, as Vice-President of the International Trade Committee, am pushing the European Commission, I am pushing the Member States to finally have effective and efficient tools so that the other States respect the rules of the game.