The United States and the European Community adopted a sweeping trans-Atlantic declaration Friday, pledging cooperation on trade, the economy and the environment.
A similar declaration was adopted Thursday night between Canada and the 12-nation EC."Trans-Atlantic solidarity has been essential for the preservation of peace and freedom and for the development of free and prosperous economies," the EC-U.S. declaration said.
The EC and the United States agreed earlier this year to twice-yearly meetings of their presidents, in addition to regular ministerial meetings.
Other areas covered by the declaration include human rights, transportation policy, telecommunications, preventing terrorism and money laundering, and curtailing the spread of nuclear and biological weapons.
Initially, a single trans-Atlantic declaration was planned, encompassing EC relations with both the United States and Canada.
"We decided later that we wanted to have bilateral relationships, so it made sense to have a separate declaration with Canada," an EC spokesman said.
The two documents, each four pages, are very similar.
Officials had hoped the declarations could have been adopted at the summit in Paris, earlier this week, of the 34-nation Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, but the drafting was not completed.
The declarations are carefully worded on free trade, saying they support further steps toward liberalization, transparency and the implementation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade concerning trade in goods and services and investment.
The United States and the EC are locked in a bitter battle over the current round of GATT talks, due to end in Brussels Dec. 7.
U.S. officials say four years of GATT negotiations will fail unless the EC agrees to substantially curtail agriculture subsidies and address other issues. The EC and North American powers vowed to fulfill their responsibilities to address trans-national challenges in the interest of their own peoples and the rest of the world.
Those challenges include combating terrorism; putting an end to the illegal production, trafficking and consumption of narcotics and related criminal activities such as the laundering of money; jointly fighting against international crime; protecting the environment through integration of environmental and economic goals; and preventing proliferation of nuclear armaments, chemical and biological weapons and missile technology.