EU and US business representatives have taken a major step towards a broader and deeper bilateral relationship in recent discussions on the framework for a Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue (TABD). The Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue was initially suggested in 1994 by US Secretary of Commerce Ronald Brown, and further developed in meetings between Mr. Brown, European Commission Vice-President Sir Leon Brittan and Commissioner Martin Bangemann in February 1995. Its aim is to encourage links between industry on both sides of the Atlantic and to provide a platform for industrialists to discuss their views on how EU/US commercial and industrial relations and cooperation might develop. The preparatory meeting, held in Brussels at the joint invitation of European Commission Directors General Mr. Horst Krenzler (DG I - External Economic Relations) and Mr. Stefano Micossi (DG III - Industry) and US Commerce Under-Secretary Mr. Jeffrey Garten, was attended by around 50 businessmen and businesswomen representing a wide cross-section of European and American industry and commerce. The meeting addressed key issues on which they felt action was needed if business cooperation was to develop further. In this discussion and the earlier exchanges in Washington, participants made substantial progress in defining an agenda for the formal launch of the Dialogue which will take place in Seville, Spain, in November 1995. In addition, the participants decided to establish a Steering Committee charged with preparing the November Dialogue meeting. The TABD Steering Committee will include CEOs from key companies and business associations with a strong interest in trans-Atlantic trade, as well as officials from the European Commission and the US Administration. The Dialogue will be sponsored jointly by the European Commission and the US Department of Commerce. The November meeting will be hosted by the Spanish government. The following topics have been identified as priorities: - Fostering cooperation on regulatory matters, such as standards, public procurement and environmental regulations; - Exploring opportunities for strengthening further trade liberalization (both multilateral and bilateral); - Opening and expanding opportunities for further international investment; - Cooperating in third countries, big emerging markets (BEMs) and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs). The importance of this initiative, and in particular its focus on the input of business itself, is underlined by the magnitude of EU/US bilateral trade flows, which amounted to ECU 180 billion in 1994. The EU accounts for 53% of total foreign direct investment in the United States, while 42% of US foreign direct investment is located in the EU. About three million jobs on each side depend on that investment.