STRENGTHENING OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION
Today, in Lisbon, Portugal, President Clinton held a summit with Portugal's Prime Minister Antonio Guterres and European Union Commission President Romano Prodi. New agreements between the U.S. and EU were announced, including a protocol which will simplify international trademark registration; establishment of a forum to study the benefits and risks of biotechnology; a safe-harbor data privacy accord to help U.S. businesses comply with European privacy laws; and a response to the critical global infectious disease threats of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.
Reaching Agreement on Trademark Registration. The U.S. and the EU have reached an agreement that will simplify international trademark registration. Under the agreement, U.S. companies will no longer be required to register their trademarks in individual EU-member states. Instead, they will:
Establishing a Forum on Biotechnology. Lack of European public confidence in food safety has led to a standstill on approval of biotech foods, which is undermining progress on food security in developing nations, causing uncertainty in world markets, and harming U.S. farm exports. Today, the U.S. and the EU agreed to establish a consultative forum to study the benefits and risks of biotechnology and issue a report for the December 2000 U.S.-EU Summit. The forum will include scientists, ethicists, environmentalists, farmers, and consumers who will look at factors such as the food security needs of developing countries, food safety, health, and the environment.
Protecting Consumers' Privacy. In October 1998, the EU enacted a sweeping privacy law that prohibits the transfer of personal data to the U.S and other countries that do not meet EU's privacy protection standards. Today, the U.S. and the EU agreed to a "safe harbor" Data Privacy Accord that will protect consumers' privacy, maintain data flow, and create the right environment for e-commerce. The accord will enable the EU to certify that participating U.S. companies meet the EU requirement for privacy protection, thereby helping U.S. organizations comply with the EU privacy law and preventing the potential disruption of approximately $120 billion in U.S.-EU trade.
Fighting Infectious Diseases. Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, causing nearly half of all deaths among people under age 45. HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis together kill over 5 million people worldwide each year. The U.S. and the EU today announced a joint response to these infectious diseases, including:
The Importance of the U.S.-EU Partnership. The U.S. relationship with the EU is vital to American and European prosperity, our common values, and global security and stability:
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