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April 28, 2003
  Contact: Heather Layman
(202) 482-3809

U.S., EU Renew Commitment to Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue

Brussels/Washington - The U.S. Administration and the European Commission agreed today on details for a renewed commitment to the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) as a key forum for government and industry discussions on transatlantic commercial matters.

Meeting in Brussels, Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade Grant Aldonas, European Commission Director-General for Enterprise Jean-Paul Mingasson, and Deputy Director-General for Trade Pierre Defraigne underscored the need for government and industry cooperation to strengthen the transatlantic commercial relationship and bolster the two economies.

"Government and industry have taken time to examine the TABD process. Our governments are renewing the call to industry on both sides of the Atlantic to work through a changed TABD process on the key trade facilitation issues facing the relationship," remarked Aldonas at the conclusion of the discussions.

"Through this process, we will work directly with industry to identify and remove trade barriers and reduce the overall transaction costs to business in our integrated marketplace."

"The TABD process clearly has added value. It is also very satisfying to note that we have, on both sides, delivered on several key TABD recommendations," noted Jean-Paul Mingasson, the European Commission's Director-General for Enterprise. "It is therefore important to ensure that the TABD process will continue to work and remain effective, and we invite business on both sides of the Atlantic to remain committed to the process."

U.S Commerce Secretary Donald Evans and EU Commissioners Erkki Liikanen and Pascal Lamy have exchanged letters stating support for the TABD's activities in 2003-2004. The TABD is likely to be "re-launched" at the time of the June 25 EU-US Summit in Washington, DC.

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