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Home > Press > Framework for Advancing Transatlantic Economic Integration Between the United States of America and the European Union

Framework for Advancing Transatlantic Economic Integration Between the United States of America and the European Union

Washington, DC | Posted on April 30th, 2007

We, leaders of the United States of America and the European Union
(EU):

Believing that deeper transatlantic economic integration and growth
will benefit our citizens and the competitiveness of our economies,
will have global benefits, will facilitate market access for third
countries and will encourage other countries to adopt the
transatlantic economic model of respect for property rights, openness
to investment, transparency and predictability in regulation, and the
value of free markets;

Affirming our shared commitment to increase the transparency and
efficiency of our economic cooperation and to accelerate the reduction
of barriers to international trade and investment;

Desiring to improve the effectiveness of existing economic cooperation
and to elevate and accelerate existing work to achieve tangible
progress;

Recognizing that the transatlantic economy remains at the forefront of
globalization, and that the United States and the European Union are
each other's most important economic partners, reflecting historical
ties as well as a wide range of common fundamental values, such as the
importance of free enterprise, rule of law, property rights, free
trade, and competition, and the protection of health, safety and the
environment for our citizens and workers;

Reaffirming our commitment to the 2005 U.S.-EU Summit Declaration on
Enhancing Transatlantic Economic Integration and Growth, in which we
resolved to pursue a forward-looking agenda to enhance transatlantic
economic integration and growth, and our commitments from the June
2006 Summit to redouble our efforts to reduce barriers to
transatlantic trade and investment and our pledge to keep our
investment regimes open and to build on existing investment flows to
boost growth and create jobs in the transatlantic economy;

Recognizing further that we have established a wide range of joint
work in the areas of regulatory cooperation, financial markets, trade
and transport security, innovation and technological development,
intellectual property rights, energy, investment, competition,
services, and government procurement;

Welcoming the launch of a study funded by the European Commission to
identify existing barriers to trade and investment and estimate the
benefits of removing such barriers.

Have reached the following shared understandings:

Section I

Purposes

We seek to strengthen transatlantic economic integration, with the
goal of improving competitiveness and the lives of our people. To that
end, this Framework reaffirms a multi-year program of cooperation that
emphasizes results and provides accountability.

Section II

Fostering Cooperation and Reducing Regulatory Burdens

In light of our shared commitment to removing barriers to
transatlantic commerce; to rationalizing, reforming, and, where
appropriate, reducing regulations to empower the private sector; to
achieving more effective, systematic and transparent regulatory
cooperation to reduce costs associated with regulation to consumers
and producers; to removing unnecessary differences between our
regulations to foster economic integration; to reinforce the existing
transatlantic dialogue structures in regulatory cooperation both by
intensifying our sector-by-sector EU-U.S. regulatory cooperation and
our dialogue between the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and
European Commission services on methodological issues: we resolve to
achieve the goals set out in Annex 1 in a timely manner.

Section III

Lighthouse Priority Projects

We have identified in Annex 2 priority growth projects, selected from
the existing work program and other programs within the existing
transatlantic dialogue, that will significantly enhance transatlantic
economic integration, and we resolve to achieve progress on these
projects within six to eight months of the effective date of this
Framework, and at latest by the time of the 2008 EU-U.S. Summit. We
resolve that future priorities are to be reflected by updating the
Lighthouse Priority Projects identified in Annex 2.

Section IV

Transatlantic Economic Council

The Transatlantic Economic Council is hereby established, to be
co-chaired, on the U.S. side, by a U.S. Cabinet-level official in the
Executive Office of the President (currently Allan Hubbard) and on the
EU side by a Member of the European Commission (currently Vice
President Guenter Verheugen), collaborating closely with the EU
Presidency. The Council is to:

1. Oversee the efforts outlined in this Framework, with the goal
of accelerating progress;

2. Guide work between U.S.-EU Summits with a focus on achieving
results, including setting goals for achieving the purposes of
this Framework, developing metrics, setting deadlines and
targets, and monitoring progress;

3. Adopt a work program, drawn initially from the existing work
program under the 2005 U.S.-EC Economic Initiative, with the
goal of achieving the objectives of this Framework, and shall
adapt this work program and otherwise organize its activities
in the manner best suited to achieving those objectives;

4. Review at least semi-annually its progress in achieving the
objectives of this Framework;

5. Facilitate joint action under this Framework to advance its
purposes;

6. Review ongoing U.S.-EU economic engagement in order to
maximize progress in existing transatlantic dialogues with a
view to consider phasing out technical dialogues that have
completed their work or are otherwise no longer necessary;

7. Meet at least once a year at such time as the co-chairs
decide;

8. Oversee preparation of annual reports to the U.S.-EU Summit
leaders on goals, metrics for meeting those goals, deadlines,
achievements, and areas where more progress is needed;

9. Facilitate closer cooperation between the United States and
European Union and our legislators and stakeholders;

10. Convene a group comprised of individuals experienced in
transatlantic issues drawing in particular from the heads of
existing transatlantic dialogues to provide input and guidance
to the U.S.-EU Summit on priorities for pursuing transatlantic
economic integration; and

11. Include representatives of other governmental entities as the
Council determines to be appropriate.

Section V

Work Program of Cooperation

We resolve to work to promote transatlantic economic integration in
the following areas: intellectual property rights, investment, secure
trade, financial markets, and innovation as set forth in the attached
Annexes 2-7.

Signed at Washington, D.C., on this thirtieth day of April, 2007, in
three originals.

FOR THE UNITED STATES FOR THE EUROPEAN
OF AMERICA: UNION:

George W. Bush Angela Merkel
President President of the European Council

Jose Manuel Barroso
President of the European Commission

Annex 1

Fostering Cooperation and Reducing Regulatory Burdens

A. Take the following steps to reduce barriers to transatlantic
economic integration posed by new regulations by reinforcing the
existing transatlantic dialogue structures:

1. Pursue development of a methodological framework to help ensure
the comparability of impact assessments, particularly risk
assessment and cost-benefit analysis;

2. Appoint heads of regulatory authorities as permanent members of
the U.S. - EU High-Level Regulatory Cooperation Forum to report
on any risks or benefits from significant differences in
regulatory approaches identified in the sectoral dialogues or
the European Commission Secretariat General (EC)-U.S. Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) dialogue called for under the 2005
U.S.-EU Economic Initiative, recognizing that the Financial
Markets Regulatory Dialogue will continue its own, separate,
work program described in Annex 6, and updating the Council on
its progress as appropriate.

3. Reinforce the existing transatlantic dialogue on regulatory
cooperation by cooperating to improve regulation, specifically
through cooperation between OMB and the EC to:

a) Taking into account, among other things, the impact
assessment considerations in place, evaluate progress
regarding this cooperation, and consider a more formal
basis to enhance this cooperation;

b) Intensify their dialogue focusing on issues of methodology;

c) Hold regular and active exchanges on the overall framework
of our regulatory co-operation and on methodological issues
which may arise in individual cases;

d) Review the application of their respective regulatory
impact analysis guidelines so that the regulatory impacts
on trade and investment are considered, as appropriate; and

e) Share forward planning schedules.

B. Take the following steps to reduce barriers to transatlantic
economic integration posed by regulations in specific sectors by
intensifying sector-by-sector regulatory cooperation, including
through enhanced EC-OMB cooperation, including the following:

1. Encourage further cooperation in the areas of agriculture,
sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, and food safety;

2. Promote the application of the 2002 U.S.-EU Guidelines for
Regulatory Cooperation and Transparency for specific sectoral
pilot projects to be determined in consultation with
stakeholders. We agree to discuss additional pilot projects on
a case-by-case basis for exploring improved US-EU regulatory
cooperation.

3. Pursue implementation of the Roadmap for Regulatory
Cooperation, including the following priority projects to be
pursued in 2007 and 2008:

a) Collaborating on cosmetics regulations, in particular with
a view to reducing the need for animal tests by cooperating
on alternative testing methods;

b) Seeking final agreement between U.S. and EU regulators on
shifting resources away from implementation of the Medical
Device Annex of the Mutual Recognition Agreement between
the United States and the European Community to a more
productive bilateral collaboration on medical devices;

c) Promoting administrative simplification in the application
of regulation of medicinal products;

d) Addressing common concerns in the automotive sector in the
area of road safety and fuel economy in order to avoid or
reduce barriers to transatlantic trade;

e) Expanding cooperation on OECD activities relating to risk
assessment, Good Laboratory Practices and the Globally
Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of
Chemicals, study templates, information technology for data
submissions, as well as on alternative test methods (QSAR),
test methods and risks of manufactured nanomaterials; and

f) Initiating an exchange on conformity assessment procedures
for the safety of electrical equipment.

Annex 2

Lighthouse Priority Projects

A. Intellectual Property Rights. Develop procedures for the exchange
of information relating to goods suspected of infringing intellectual
property rights, the exchange of customs officials, and the
organisation of joint technical assistance and/or enforcement missions
and seek progress in the harmonisation of the different patent
regimes.

B. Secure trade. Develop common and accepted standards to maximize
security, safety and facilitation of international trade supply chain
that could lead to mutual recognition of programs for economic
operators. Begin to exchange information on validation results
associated with the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and
Authorized Economic Operator programs in order to avoid the
duplication of controls and to reduce business costs by avoiding
divergent control requirements, as appropriate.

C. Financial Markets. Promote and seek to ensure conditions for the
U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and International
Financial Reporting Standards to be recognized in both jurisdictions
without the need for reconciliation by 2009 or possibly sooner.

D. Innovation and Technology.

1. Conduct a high-level conference on innovation in health-related
industries and a workshop on best practices in innovation
policies;

2. Develop a joint framework for cooperation on identification and
development of best practices for Radio Frequency
Identification (RFID) technologies and develop a work plan to
promote the interoperability of electronic health record
systems;

3. Develop a science-based work plan for EU-U.S. collaboration on
innovative and eco-efficient biobased products;

4. Establish a joint research infrastructure for mouse functional
genomics (following a joint meeting in 2007 in Belgium);

5. Sponsor joint workshops or conferences to foster the exchange
of information on nanotechnology in areas of mutual interest.

E. Investment. Establish a regular dialogue to address obstacles to
investment

Annex 3

Intellectual Property Rights

In order to enhance recognition and enforcement of intellectual
property rights, we resolve to:

A. Cooperate on improving the efficiency and the effectiveness of the
patent system at the global level to promote innovation, employment,
and competitiveness, and seek progress in the harmonisation of the
different patent regimes;

B. Implement the EU-U.S. Action Strategy on Intellectual Property
Rights Enforcement, including stepping up joint efforts in all areas,
in particular:

a. Continue to advance a constructive discussion of enforcement at
the WTO TRIPS Council and to explore other possible vehicles
for advancing international cooperation on IPR enforcement
among countries sharing common interests in this area;

b. Strengthen customs cooperation, including exchange of
information relating to goods suspected of infringing
intellectual property rights and statistics on the seizures of
such goods, as well as programs to exchange officials and best
practices;

c. Work jointly to improve the IPR protection and enforcement in
China and Russia, increase cooperation in Asia, Latin America
and the Middle East, including the extension of the IPR
networks to these regions;

d. Expand joint technical assistance initiatives in Asia and Latin
America, including the organization of work shops, seminars and
on-site training; and

e. Improve public-private coordination and cooperation on
anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy education, public awareness
and business practices.

Annex 4

Investment

In order to reduce barriers to transatlantic trade and investment,
keep investment regimes open, and build on existing investment flows
to boost growth and create jobs, we resolve to:

A. Continue close co-operation in the OECD with regard to studying
and fostering policy reforms that are conducive to attracting
investment;

B. Engage in regular discussions of laws, policies and practices
that could impact investments in the EU and the United States;

C. Develop work to prevent, eliminate or reduce the impact from
investment barriers, with special attention being given to
small and medium-sized enterprises.

Annex 5

Secure Trade

As common standards and mutual recognition of standards where possible
in trade partnership programs can strengthen security of the supply
chain against terrorist exploitation or commercial fraud, such as
counterfeiting while improving efficiency by eliminating redundant
reviews, we resolve to:

A. Work together to improve international enforcement in the fight
against fraud and illegal spam and spyware in view of the enactment
of the Undertaking Spam, Spyware and Fraud Enforcement With
Enforcers Beyond Borders Act of 2006 (US SAFE WEB Act) in the
United States and adoption of the EU Consumer Protection
Regulation.

B. Establish a pilot project to study the similarities and differences
in requirements for the U.S. and EU's respective trade partnership
programs with the goal of developing a roadmap to facilitate mutual
recognition of those operators that are authorized as secure on the
basis of mutually acceptable security standards and requirements;
and

C. Strive to ensure that any mutually recognized trade partnership
programs provide comparable benefits to the other Party's
recognized operators.

Annex 6

Financial Markets

In light of the considerable differences that exist between financial
market structure and regulation on both sides of the Atlantic, and
given the consolidation underway globally and transatlantically in
this sector, we resolve to take steps, towards the convergence,
equivalence or mutual recognition, where appropriate, of regulatory
standards based on high quality principles. In particular, we resolve
to maintain the existing informal Financial Markets Regulatory
Dialogue and focus on the following areas:

A. Strengthen cooperation to promote smooth implementation of the
Basel II framework for banks, notably to address transitional
issues and minimize differences of implementation between the
EU and United States;

B. Promote conditions for the U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting
Principles and International Financial Reporting Standards to
be recognized in both jurisdictions without the need for
reconciliation by 2009 or possibly sooner;

C. Fully support roadmap discussions between the Public Company
Accounting Oversight Board and the European Commission in the
area of auditor oversight;

D. Advance convergence in the area of reinsurance regulation;

E. Work on greater regulatory convergence towards highest quality
and most effective regulation and, where appropriate, mutual
recognition in the fields of securities regulation; and

F. Increase cooperation between EU and U.S. financial regulators.

Annex 7

Innovation and Technology

Acknowledging the importance of research and innovation to promoting
competitiveness and improving qualify of life, we resolve to:

A. Conduct an exchange of innovation experts to discuss best
practices;

B. Exchange views on policy options for emerging technologies, or
new technological applications, in particular in the field of
nanotechnology, cloning or biotechnologies;

C. Explore possibility to launch common research actions paving
the way to a level playing field for nanotechnology-based
products in the globalised market, namely co- and pre-normative
research;

D. Reinforce cooperation on eAccessibility, including continued EC
participation in the U.S. Access Board process of standards
revision, ensuring U.S. participation in the European
standards-making process on public procurements on
eAccessibility, and considering wider cooperation to improve
the accessibility and mobility in the built environment;

E. Work together on interoperability of electronic health record
systems;

F. Exchange best practices on all dimensions related to RFID;

G. Develop a framework of regulation and payment policies that
promote innovation;

H. Exchange knowledge and experience on the use of information and
communication technologies to improve traffic safety;

I. Launch our Standards Dialogue as an overarching framework to
discuss specific standards-related issues; and

J. Collaborate on innovation indicators and how data helps
policymakers understand what drives innovation and its affects
on economic performance.

####

Contacts:
White House Press Office
1-202-456-2580

Copyright © Business Wire 2007

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