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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 5, 1997



The New Transatlantic Agenda (NTA), launched in December 1995, provides a framework for managing and enlarging U.S. cooperation with the EU, as a whole, through a regular consultative process involving the EU Presidency country and the European Commission. The NTA lays out an ambitious agenda for expanding cooperation on promoting peace and stability, democracy, and development around the world; responding to global challenges; contributing to the expansion of world trade and closer economic relations; and "building bridges" between Americans and Europeans.

A key element of the U.S.-EU worldwide partnership is intensified diplomatic cooperation. The U.S. and EU are, for example, working together to support reconstruction and reconciliation in Bosnia and to promote needed reform in Ukraine. The U.S. also is working with the EU to reinforce political and economic cooperation with Turkey and has encouraged dialogue among the parties in the Middle East Peace Process. The EU has joined the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization to help the U.S., Japan, and South Korea prevent North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons technology. The U.S. and EU have worked closely to meet humanitarian needs in Africa.

The U.S. and EU have undertaken several new initiatives to expand cooperation on law enforcement, counternarcotics, environmental degradation, and health issues. Consultations have spurred development of a successful joint counternarcotics program in the Caribbean, planned exchanges of law enforcement officials, and an initiative to combat trafficking in women in central Europe and the New Independent States. Consultations to fight organized crime have been intensified.

Joint U.S. and EU trade efforts are helping to reduce transatlantic barriers and support the multilateral trading system. The U.S. and EU are working closely to conclude the WTO financial services negotiations and have concluded negotiations on a package of mutual recognition agreements on product testing, inspections, and other procedures, covering $50 billion in U.S.-EU trade. Work is underway to further deepen regulatory cooperation while assuring high standards of protection for consumers. The governments are cooperating closely with the Transatlantic Business Dialogue, a U.S.-European business partnership, to address a wide range of trade barriers important to the business community. The U.S. and EU are finalizing an initiative to combat sweatshop conditions around the globe.

A key part of the agenda is a fourth chapter dealing with "building bridges" between the different constituencies in the transatlantic community. Following up on the successful May 1997 "Bridging the Atlantic" conference, the U.S. and EU are working closely with NGOs to launch the Internet-based Transatlantic Information Exchange Service, a transatlantic digital library project linking the Library of Congress with key European and U.S. libraries, new parliamentary exchanges and electronic linkages, and new civil society initiatives in central Europe and the New Independent States. At the December 5, 1997, U.S.-EU Summit, the governments will sign the first U.S.-EU agreement to promote cooperation between scientists and scientific institutions.

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