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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2005 > December
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 6, 2005

U.S. and EU Ministers Advance IPR, Regulatory Cooperation, Other Issues

The United States and the European Union made significant advances in addressing intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement, regulatory cooperation, technology and innovation and other issues at their first informal economic ministerial meeting, which concluded November 30 in Brussels.

The ministerial "provided an excellent opportunity to review the progress since the 2005 U.S.-EU summit in June," said E. Anthony Wayne, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, who attended the meeting.

In an important development, the ministerial "signaled a significant positive shift in U.S.-EU relations in the area of intellectual property rights protection and enforcement," Wayne said. "Our governments agreed to work more closely together to protect the industries on which our economies so heavily rely."

The two sides announced the creation of an IPR working group that will focus on specific ways to improve IPR enforcement. These include improved border enforcement cooperation, public-private partnerships to protect IPR, and coordinated technical assistance to third countries. By the end of January, the working group will begin its task of developing an IPR enforcement cooperation strategy that will be considered at the 2006 U.S.-EU Summit to be held this summer.

The United States and EU also made progress on implementing the Regulatory Cooperation Roadmap, which is extremely important "given the strong and deep integration of our economies," said Wayne. The ministerial participants announced two spring 2006 meetings of the new high-level regulatory cooperation forum.

The Ministers also reported progress in the financial markets regulatory dialogue, the liberalization of U.S.-EU air services, and improved coordination in other areas.

The U.S. delegation to the informal summit was headed by Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez. Assistant Secretary Wayne was the delegation's lead State Department official.

Following is the link to the text of the joint U.S.-EU press statement issued at the end of the ministerial: http://ue.eu.int/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/er/87214.pdf.


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