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EU & US sign new deal on trans-Atlantic economic partnership

02
May '07
The EU and US signed a new deal on a trans-Atlantic economic partnership at their summit in Washington on Monday (30 April) but remained unable to agree steps for tackling climate change, despite an increase in positive rhetoric on the issue.

The economic deal is aimed at increasing trade and investment by harmonising business standards between the two blocs - with trade in goods and services across the Atlantic accounting for more than $2 billion every day.

As part of the agreement, a transatlantic economic council is to be set up - to be chaired by EU industry commissioner Guenter Verheugen and US National Economic Council director Al Hubbard - to overcome regulatory barriers in 40 areas, including intellectual property and financial services.

"It is recognition that the closer that the United States and the EU become, the better off our people become," US president George W. Bush said, referring to the deal. German chancellor Angela Merkel, currently chairing the EU, called it a "significant step forward."

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