Sounds ominous to me, and I’m sure it’ll be great fodder for the conspiracy-minded.
Summary from ASIL’s International Law in Brief:
European Union and United States Summit: Framework Agreement (30 April 2007)
Leaders of the European Union (EU) and United States (U.S.) met 30 April 2007 in Washington, D.C. and concluded a framework agreement (the Agreement). In it, the EU and U.S. express their belief that greater transatlantic economic integration and growth will help citizens and the competitiveness of their economies and will persuade other nations to implement the “transatlantic economic model of respect for property rights, openness to investment, transparency and predictability in regulation, and the value of free markets.â€ They reaffirmed their dedication to the 2005 EU-U.S. Summit Declaration on improving economic integration and growth, and pledges made in the June 2006 Summit to reduce transatlantic trade barriers.The framework Agreement includes a number of understandings. The EU and U.S. created a Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) to monitor progress toward attaining the goals of the framework; including setting strategic targets. The TEC will be chaired by a U.S. cabinet-level official in the Executive Office of the President, currently Allan Hubbard, and by a representative of the European Commission working in tandem with the EU Presidency, currently Vice President Guenter Verheugen.
The EU and the U.S. agreed to take a number of steps to foster cooperation and reduce regulatory burdens including: fostering further collaboration in the areas of agriculture, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures and food safety; working together to reduce animal testing for cosmetics and seeking other testing methods; seeking administrative simplification in the regulation of medicinal products; expanding cooperation on OECD initiatives on risk assessment, good laboratory practices; and the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, and the risks of manufactured nanomaterials. They agreed to take a number of steps to protect intellectual property rights including creating rules regarding the exchange of information relating to suspected infringements, and the development of joint technical assistance to improve the harmonization of patent regimes. In the areas of “innovation and technologyâ€ they agreed that they will hold a high-level conference on innovations in health-related industries and a workshop on “best practices in innovation policies.â€ They will create a work plan to promote the interoperability of electronic health record systems; and a science-based work plan to cooperate on “eco-efficient biobased products.â€