Summit Leaders Call on Transatlantic Business Dialogue

Today at the EU-U.S. Summit, German Chancellor Schroeder, U.S. President Clinton and European Commission President Santer requested that the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD), an informal business-led process, provide private sector input to the recovery plan for South East Europe and early warning to avoid transatlantic trade disputes. The TABD Co-Chairs, Rick Thoman (President and CEO of Xerox Corporation) and Jerome Monod (Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux), looked forward to working with the governments on these initiatives. "Through engagement of the U.S. and EU business communities, the TABD can provide detailed recommendations on what public policy initiatives would best encourage private investment in the South East Europe region," said Thoman. Responding to calls for an early warning system, Monod said "Trade disputes damage confidence and increase uncertainty in doing business. We would like to work with the EU and U.S. administrations to develop an early warning system that improves communication, and promotes solutions not conflict." Additionally, on behalf of the U.S. and EU business communities, the TABD Chairs presented to the leaders a wide variety of recommendations to improve transatlantic trade and investment. The recommendations focused on positive, constructive solutions to encourage increased transatlantic economic activity. Underscoring one of the many TABD recommendations for 1999, Mr. Thoman said "We hope that the U.S. and EU regulators succeed in adopting a global accountancy standard that increases transparency and certainty in the world economy while maintaining a high standard for fiscal accountability." The TABD Chairs presented their 1999 Mid Year Report to the Summit principals that assesses progress made by governments on existing joint business community recommendations, and that outlines new policy deliverables for 1999. The TABD expects concrete deliverables from the forthcoming WTO Ministerial, including the passage of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) II; agreement on a permanent standstill on customs duties for electronic transactions; and WTO support for a business-led framework for E-commerce. The report also includes proposals that promotes industry-led development of Third Generation Wireless (3G), encourages self-regulatory approaches to data privacy, and supports the government's efforts on a bio-tech Pilot Project. An executive summary and complete version of the report are available at: The TABD, a unique business-led forum launched by the European Commission and United States Government in 1995, will host its annual CEO-level conference on October 29-30 in Berlin to spur implementation of existing recommendations and to formulate new proposals for trade progress. The TABD seeks to increase transatlantic trade and investment opportunities through the removal of costly inefficiencies from excessive regulation, duplication and differences in the EU and US regulatory systems and procedures. ots Original Text Service: Transatlantic Business Dialogue Internet: Contact: Chris Duffy, 0032-2-231-1728, or Jeff Werner (USA) 202-414-1293, both of Transatlantic Business Dialogue Web site:

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