EU and US reaffirm their commitment for commodity markets regulations

European Commissioner Michel Barnier for the Internal Market and Services met United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler, during his official visit to the United States. During this visit Commissioner Barnier also had the opportunity to meet some of the most relevant economic authorities in the country such as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, Mr. Ben Bernanke, the US Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, or the President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, Mr. Bill Dudley.

The first part of Commissioner Barnier official visit to the United States, which took place between 28 October and 2 November, was focused in New York where a set of meetings with some of the most prominent economic and monetary authorities in the country were the opportunity to discuss over some of the issues at stake particularly those in preparation for the forthcoming G20 Summit in September.

Commissioner Barnier also visited the European American Business Council, an independent business association which aims to support unrestricted trade and investment between the US and the EU and and to provide a platform for discussion and exchange of ideas for business leaders of both regions.

EU-US Commodity Futures Market

On 2 November, Barnier met in Chicago United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler to discuss a range of issues concerning the oversight of commodity markets and the regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. They both reaffirmed their commitment to strong regulation and enhanced transparency of the commodity markets.

Commissioner Barnier and Chairman Gensler discussed position concentration in commodity markets and the role that position limits play in the oversight of physical commodity futures and swaps markets. They also discussed potential reforms to the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and the Market Abuse Directive, which will assist in the overall efforts to reform commodity oversight in Europe.

They both expressed general support for the IOSCO Task Force on Commodity Futures Markets and related efforts in the G20, which are working to improve the regulatory oversight and transparency of futures and physical commodity markets.

In their opinion the ongoing efforts to reform the OTC derivatives markets, reviewing four key objectives set forth by the G20 in September 2009 are of high importance, namely clearing through central counterparties, trading on exchanges or electronic trading platforms, where appropriate, reporting and higher capital requirements for non-cleared swaps. They also noted the importance for regulators to take into account technological developments in the markets and consider the effects of high frequency trading.