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Transnational relations between EU and USA (Economic dimension)
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4) BUILDING BRIDGES ACROSS THE ATLANTIC
The need to strengthen and broaden public support for the partnership was recognised. To that end, EU and U.S. will seek to deepen the commercial, social, cultural, scientific and educational ties among people.
EU and U.S. will not be able to achieve these ambitious goals without the backing of their respective business communities. Both sides will support, and encourage the development of the transatlantic business relationship, as an integral part of their wider efforts to strengthen their bilateral dialogue. The successful conference of EU and U.S. business leaders which took place in Seville on 10-11 November 1995 was an important step in this direction.
3. Cooperation after the new Transatlantic agenda
Significant progress has been made since 1995, with the signature at the EU-US Summit of May 1997 of the Agreement on Custom Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters; the entering into force on 1 December 1998 of the Mutual Recognition Agreement covering specific goods areas (telecom equipment, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, electromagnetic compatibility, electric safety and recreational craft); the EU-US Veterinary Equivalence Agreement aimed at facilitating trade in live animals and animal products and signed on 20 July 1999; the signature on 4 June 1998 of the EU-US Agreement on the application of positive comity principles in the enforcement of their competition laws; the Science and Technology Agreement signed on 5 December 1997, which extends and strengthens the conduct of cooperative activities between EU scientific institutions and a range of US government research agencies.
The EU and the US launched the Transatlantic Economic Partnership (TEP) at the London summit in May 1998. The TEP is an extension of the approach taken in the NTA. It includes both multilateral and bilateral elements. Bilaterally the purpose is to tackle technical barriers to trade. The purpose of the second part is to stimulate further multilateral liberalization – by joining forces on international trade issues. An innovative aspect of the proposal is to integrate labour, business, environmental and consumer issues into the process.
The current Transatlantic Economic Partnership based approach allows EU to go further with the US towards achievable and mutually beneficial objectives. It meets three basic conditions:
• It allows EU to focus initiatives on areas where there is goodwill on both sides and where gains can be enormous – for example financial markets;
• It promotes upstream convergence or mutual recognition of rules and standards;
• It acts as an Early warning mechanism in case a potentially damageable piece of legislation is in the pipeline.
In the Bonn Declaration adopted at the 21 June 1999 EU-US summit in Bonn, both sides committed themselves to a "full and equal partnership" in economic, political and security affairs. This explicit recognition is a step forward from the NTA. The Bonn Declaration outlines how the EU and the US want to shape their relationship over the next decade and is embedded in the NTA process.