Ambassador Kurt Jäger Speaks at SAIS

From March 25-27, Kurt Jäger, Ambassador of Liechtenstein to Belgium and Head of the Liechtenstein Mission to the European Union, visited Washington, D.C.

Ambassador Jäger was invited to speak at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University School For Advanced International Studies (SAIS). For his talk he examined the relationship and involvement Liechtenstein has with the European Union, mainly through the European Economic Area (EEA). He discussed how Liechtenstein has been able to successfully integrate itself into the European economy without holding EU membership. Although this presents some challenges to the country, he finds Liechtenstein’s unique situation to be perfectly suitable for its size, needs, and abilities.

Ambassador Kurt Jäger at the SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations.

After his speech, Ambassador Jäger took time to answer questions from the students. Although the questions touched on a variety of topics, the issue of trade was repeatedly brought up. Many students inquired how Liechtenstein would be affected by the negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and EU. Ambassador Jäger explained that given Liechtenstein's close economic integration with the EU through the EEA, an enhanced trade relationship between the EU and the US could have benefits for the Liechtenstein economy. However, questions remain as well as concerns as to how any EU regulatory changes may impact the Liechtenstein economy, adding costly changes while not directly facilitating an enhanced trade relationship with the US.

Ambassador Jäger did point out the Trade Policy Dialogue between the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), made up of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The USTR and EFTA have opened discussions on how to enhance trade between the trading bloc and the US.

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