About a third of Americans currently hold a passport. Until the aftermath of 9/11 imposed travel restrictions even for Canada and Mexico, that figure was much lower. Europeans traditionally cite this statistic as an illustration of how parochial most Americans are, but if coverage of the European economy is anything to go by, Americans are probably more aware of what is going on in Europe than Europeans are of what is going on in America. Doubtless this is in part because American economics commentators currently see the risk of a ‘perfect storm’ brewing, with continued recession in Europe and a slowing recovery in America leading to a global slump. Americans seem also to be more aware of their European responsibilities. The Ford company’s sales, for example, have stalled in Europe, leading to major losses, with consequences for the North American market in turn. (Factory closures are, alas, being predicted, and the Americans worry about this.) Seeing such coverage, it seems so obvious that there ought to be some sort of structured trans-Atlantic dialogue (something that, inter alia, the European Economic and Social Committee has been calling for for many years). The logic for the longstanding Trans-Atlantic Legislators’ dialogue is certainly strong. To quote from that website:  ‘The economic relationship between the European Union and the United States is perhaps the most defining feature of the global economy. The integration is broader and deeper than between any two other political regions in the world. The EU and US account for 35 percent of global merchandise trade, 45% of world trade in services and produce 57% of world GDP. The partnership is also the single most important driver of global economic growth, trade, and prosperity.’