The European Union’s Commission Directorate General for Justice and Consumers and United States’ Federal Trade Commission have announced on 30 March their intention to start a cooperation on issues relating to digital, product safety, and financial services which are core to safer and fairer markets. This cooperation will take the form of an Informal Dialogue on Consumer Protection between the two administrations.
The Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) welcomes this new dialogue as part of the renewed EU-U.S. voluntary cooperation. The announcement made by EU Commissioner Didier Reynders and FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan meets the expectations and recommendations set by consumer and digital groups on both sides of the Atlantic.
TACD has long advocated for voluntary exchanges between U.S. and EU regulators. The Informal Dialogue on Consumer Protection, thanks to the concrete proposals made, has the potential to improve privacy protections for all and ensure less dangerous products sold online. TACD particularly welcomes the recommendations on enforcement cooperation and empirical research to improve the protection of consumers on both sides of the Atlantic.
Edmund Mierzwinski, Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program at U.S. PIRG, and TACD co-chair:
“The joint statement is based on numerous shared values of importance to consumers and families. I am particularly excited that it says that a strong competitive marketplace has to give consumers a right to repair their own stuff but has no place for corporate greenwashing or false sustainability claims.”
Monique Goyens, Director General at BEUC, and TACD co-chair:
“Given the technological developments in financial services, there are lots for EU and U.S. regulators to talk about. We welcome the announcement in the joint statement to focus on the use of AI in providing financial services and tackling how it may affect the availability and terms of financial products to particular groups of consumers.”
Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad, Director of Digital policy at the Norwegian Consumer Council, and co-chair of TACD Digital policy group:
“Consumer-focused groups in the U.S. and Europe have been working for years on the issues of online manipulative techniques, or dark patterns, as well as pervasive tracking and harmful marketing. We are pleased to see that they now will be discussed at this level and look forward to engaging.”