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In promising to promote peace around the world, the two signatories make specific commitments to work together in the former Yugoslavia, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the other “new independent states, Turkey, Cyprus and the middle east.  Finally, the EU commits itself, with the US, to provide support of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, that is to assist in keeping North Korea in the non-nuclear power camp.  This is far afield from the EU’s customary concern only with European matters.

They state they will work together to implement fully their commitments to the Uruguay Round of GATT, and to seek implementation of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment.

A New Transatlantic Marketplace and Transatlantic Information Society will be established to further reduce barriers to trade and to fully develop information technology and services.  In this vein the Transatlantic Business Dialogue has brought together high level business and government leaders for four annual conferences.

As a follow-up to the Agenda, both partners agreed to create the Transatlantic Economic Partnership action plan in 1998.  This is another initiative to smoothen trade relations between the EU and the US.  

While not an overly ambitious mandate, it remains to be seen how much of this will be achieved in actuality.  The difficulty in charting a course in areas such as defense where the field of action lies beyond the immediate proximity to Europe has already been noted above.  Furthermore, the actors in the business community generally act in accordance with their own corporate strategic objectives and, at least in North America, are reluctant to compromise them to assist the government in attaining its objectives.  In the rapidly globalizing world in which they now function this may increasingly be the pattern for European corporations as well.  More generally, David C. Gompert argues that in the absence of the powerful Cold War imperative for joint action: “The Atlantic Alliance lives on borrowed time.  Europeans and Americans have yet to discover that idea that will energize their cooperation now that Europe is safe, sound, and rich.”xxxiii  In addition to tendency to assume that a relationship that is not facing a fundamental challenge is probably not in need of much attention, both the EU and the government of the US as well as the corporate sector may find that relations with the Asia Pacific region require their attention.  This latter aspect will be discussed later in this paper.

5a2.Canada.  Canada’s relations with the European Union have been marked by a certain degree of frustration.  Given the nature of its external trade and investment linkages, Canada has had to recognize that the United States has been and in all likelihood will continue to be its dominant partner.  Nonetheless, some prime ministers, such as Lester Pearson during the 1960’s actively sought to have Canada serve a bridge between North America and Europe, while others, such as Pierre Elliott Trudeau sought a closer relationship with Europe as a counter weight when the dependence on the United States was judged to be excessive.  Canada gained considerable stature in European eyes as a consequence of its impressive participation in the two European wars of the 20th century, it has had a central role in the Commonwealth since its establishment in 1931 and in the Francophonie throughout its life of three decades, and has held a dozen meetings of the “Atlantik-Brücke Conference” with the Federal Republic of Germany.   

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