Miller said the significant volume of trade between the US and Switzerland pointed to 'a strong relationship'. Keystone / Peter Klaunzer
In the absence of a free trade deal, the United States and Switzerland are focusing on specific sectoral agreements, Scott Miller told the SonntagsBlick newspaper.
This content was published on June 26, 2022 - 15:58 June 26, 2022 - 15:58 SonntagsBlick/gw
Hopes for a free trade deal between the two countries have waxed and waned over the years. But with talks stalled over the issue of Swiss agricultural tariffs, Miller said progress was being made instead on specific agreements by sector, including for the pharma industry, which combined with the chemical industry accounts for nearly two-thirds of Swiss exports to the US.
“Here we are working on an agreement that would facilitate FDA [US Food and Drug Administration] approval for Swiss pharmaceuticals,” Miller told the German-language weekly.
The ambassador, who took up his post in Bern in January, pointed out that the significant volume of trade between the partners and the half a million jobs Swiss firms create in the US“speak to a strong relationship”. Swiss exports to the US have boomed in recent years, reaching a value of CHF47 billion ($49 million) in 2021, making America Switzerland's most important export market .
Miller also spoke about Switzerland's election earlier this month to a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for 2023-2024.
“I am glad that Switzerland is part of it,” he said.“It is ready for this moment and will be a great addition.”
The Alpine nation, he added,“will be able to do what it does best – convene and mediate difficult discussions. Its perspective will be invaluable – with regard to Ukraine, but also in view of the ongoing humanitarian problems that exist around the world.”
Miller conceded to the SonntagsBlick that the US delegation to the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Lugano next month will not include President Joe Biden or Vice-President Kamala Harris – they“have other commitments”, according to Miller. The ambassador rejected the notion that it was too early to talk about reconstruction in Ukraine, saying the meeting in Lugano would aim“to lay the groundwork for a plan that will ensure Ukraine is rebuilt socially, politically and economically.”
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