The head of Coca-Cola Co. has called for the US and the EU to remove non-tariff trade barriers. Neville Isdell has warned that companies looking to do business across the Atlantic face significant hurdles if the two regions do not work together to remove the barriers.

"It's those hidden regulatory barriers that really do create a new level of protectionism," Isdell said in a speech to the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States in Atlanta.

Isdell highlighted health, labour and environmental regulation as key areas requiring US and EU attention.

Although the Coke chairman and CEO said that it would require considerable political will in the US and Europe to reduce and eliminate regulatory barriers, he said that he believed that progress was possible.

"It is well worth pursuing because I believe this will deliver true free trade," Isdell said

Isdell was among a group of business leaders who called for closer EU-US economic ties during last month's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.