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Transatlantic Workshop on Digital Economy Advances 
U.S.-EU Mutual E-Commerce Interests

October 17, 2000, Brussels -- U.S. Commerce Department Under Secretary Robert S. LaRussa led a delegation of 10 senior U.S. government experts on electronic commerce to a workshop on the digital economy combining the European and U.S. industry, European Parliamentarians and European Commission officials. 

“This workshop was an excellent opportunity for the U.S.-EU private sector, Parliament and senior government officials to identify the key issues that support the transatlantic development of the new digital economy,” said LaRussa at the conclusion of the one day workshop. “Our governments now have early warning of regulatory differences, and this should help the growth of the transatlantic economy. We will certainly be discussing what we learned here when we return to Washington.” 

The workshop identified ongoing initiatives in the areas of consumer protection, intellectual property protection, infrastructure, security, and e-payments, where differences in approach could be adverse to the growth of the digital economy. Discussion focused on the importance of private-sector leadership, a pro-competitive e-commerce environment, and an open dialogue among all stakeholders. 

The workshop was sponsored by the Brussels-based business group, the EU Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce, and the Washington-based European American Business Council and included over 100 business executives whose key priority is developing the new digital economy. The U.S. government delegation included representatives from the White House, the International Trade Administration, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Patent and Trademark Office, the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Register of Copyrights. European Commission participants included Robert Verrue, John Mogg, Agne Pantelouri, Detlef Eckert and Jorg Reinbothe. Members of Parliament included Ana de Palacio, Diana Wallis, Pila Noori Kaupi, Arlene McCarthy and Astrid Thors. 

“This workshop greatly improved mutual understanding among business and government of where a common approach is needed to promote the continued rapid growth of the digital economy. It shows that the United States and the European Union are dedicated to work together in this rapidly changing environment and we support the business sponsors' plans to stage followup workshops next year,” said LaRussa. 

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