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June 25, 2003
  Contact: Heather Layman
(202) 482-3809

Evans, Liikanen Reaffirm Commitment to Transatlantic Partnership, New TABD

Commerce Secretary Don Evans and his European Union counterpart, Commissioner Erkki Liikanen, reaffirmed the importance of the transatlantic economic and commercial partnership at a meeting last night in Washington, D.C. The leaders both expressed their belief that the transatlantic partnership is critical for future security and prosperity in the United States, Europe and around the world.

Business leaders from the United States and from Europe were also present for the meeting. These leaders presented their thoughts on the current state of the transatlantic marketplace, and what governments could do to spur economic growth. The group also agreed to relaunch the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) in a new, more focused and efficient format. Both U.S. and EU business and government leaders emphasized that the American and European economies and interests are linked together even more strongly than numbers can express. In addition, they stressed the importance of the new TABD as a key interlocutor in ensuring that each year's key transatlantic economic issues are addressed.

"Yesterday, we discussed how important the transatlantic economic relationship is and how our individual and shared success will depend on our future cooperative work," said Secretary Evans. "We outlined goals and concrete steps the U.S. and EU governments can take to improve the transatlantic marketplace, and provide the momentum for economic growth. Using the Transatlantic Business Dialogue, now is the time for our businesses and governments to take the steps necessary to improve global growth and job creation."

"The business community is the driving force of transatlantic economic integration," said Commissioner Liikanen. "Its vigilance is needed to bring trade barriers and frictions to the attention of governments and to make them find solutions to these problems. TABD has contributed positively to the improvement of transatlantic economic relations through innovative ideas that have advanced trade liberalization. The new Transatlantic Business Dialogue will be a lean and focused business-driven process developing policy recommendations to administrations. The EU and the U.S. have joined in commitment to review and implement recommendations coming from the TABD."

The Transatlantic Business Dialogue, a successful forum in the past, is being redesigned to focus on the development of two or three key U.S.-EU economic policy recommendations. Last night's meeting discussed the key issues facing companies that operate in the U.S. and the EU, and the participants agreed to develop a common agenda on a few key issues by September.

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