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Mineta on U.S.-E.U. Open Skies Agreement

I am very disappointed that the European Union Council of Ministers has failed to endorse this historic first phase air services agreement negotiated by representatives of both the European Commission and the United States. We are missing a great opportunity to open access to markets for the benefit of consumers, carriers, workers and airports on both sides of the Atlantic. The agreement would have established ‘open skies’ between the U.S. and 25 European nations, creating more competition and offering travelers and shippers more transatlantic choices at a lower cost. It would also have provided Europe the opportunity to solidify a single European market for air services. We remain committed to opening up transatlantic aviation markets; however, given today’s unfortunate decision we must now review how best to achieve the objective.