including through agreement on an adapted CFE Treaty, which provides schedules for the withdrawal of Russian forces from Georgia and Moldova. The integration of Russia, Ukraine, and other NIS with the new Europe and the international community remains a key priority. Despite disagreements over NATO enlargement and the Kosovo conflict, Russian troops serve shoulder-to shoulder with U.S. and NATO forces in Kosovo and Bosnia. The United States remains committed to further development of the NATO-Russia relationship and the NATO-Ukraine distinctive partnership.
Europe is a key element in America’s global commercial engagement. Europe and the United States produce almost half of all global goods and services; more than 60% of total U.S. investment abroad is in Europe; and fourteen million workers on both sides of the Atlantic earn their livelihoods from transatlantic commerce. As part of the New Transatlantic Agenda launched in 1995, the United States and the EU agreed to take concrete steps to reduce barriers to trade and investment through creation of an open New Transatlantic Marketplace and through Mutual Recognition Agreements in goods that eliminate redundant testing and certification requirements. Our governments are also cooperating closely with the civil society dialogues established under the New Transatlantic Agenda: the Transatlantic Business Dialogue, Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue, Transatlantic Environment Dialogue, and Transatlantic Labor Dialogue. These people-to-people dialogues create opportunities for increased communication focusing on best practices, and can help their governments identify and reduce barriers to greater transatlantic interaction. In return, our governments should be committed to listen, learn, and facilitate.
Building on the New Transatlantic Agenda, the United States and the EU launched the Transatlantic Economic Partnership in 1998 to deepen our economic relations, reinforce our political ties and reduce trade frictions. The first element of the initiative is reducing barriers that affect manufacturing, agriculture and services. In the manufacturing area we are focusing on standards and technical barriers that American businesses have identified as the most significant obstacle to expanding trade. In the agricultural area we are focusing on regulatory barriers that have inhibited the expansion of agriculture trade, particularly in the biotechnology area. In the area of services we seek to facilitate trade in specific service sectors, thereby creating new opportunities for the service industries that are already so active in the European market.
The second element of the Transatlantic Economic Partnership is a broader, cooperative approach to addressing a wide range of trade issues. We will continue not imposing duties on electronic transmissions and develop a work program in the WTO for electronic commerce. We will seek to adopt common positions and effective strategies for accelerating compliance with WTO commitments on intellectual property. We will seek to promote government procurement opportunities, including promoting compatibility of electronic procurement information and government contracting systems. To promote fair competition, we will seek to enhance the compatibility of our procedures with potentially significant reductions in cost for American companies.
The United States strongly supports the process of European integration embodied in the EU. We support EU enlargement, and we are also encouraging bilateral trade and investment in non-EU countries. We recognize that EU nations face significant economic challenges and that periods of economic stagnation have eroded public support for funding outward-looking foreign policies and greater integration. We are working closely with our European partners to expand employment, promote long-term growth and support the New Transatlantic Agenda.
By supporting historic market reforms in Central and Eastern Europe and in the NIS, we help new democracies take root by avoiding conditions, such as corruption and poverty, that can weaken democratic governance and erode the appeal of democratic values. The United States will continue helping the NIS economies integrate into international economic and other institutions and develop healthy business climates. We will continue to promote political and economic reform in Russia, working to create a thriving market economy while guarding against corruption.
We are working with many NIS countries to promote their accession to the WTO on commercially fair terms. Building on successful accession of Kyrgyzstan, Latvia and Estonia, we have made significant progress on the accession of Georgia, Albania, Armenia, Croatia, Lithuania and Moldova. We also have held fruitful discussions on WTO with Russia and Ukraine. We will continue to mobilize the international community to provide assistance to support reform and to help the Central and Eastern European and NIS countries stimulate foreign and domestic private investment. We are also encouraging investment in these countries, especially by U.S. companies.
We are focusing particular attention on investment in Caspian energy resources and their export from the Caucasus region to world markets, thereby expanding and diversifying world energy supplies and promoting prosperity in the region. A stable and prosperous Caucasus and Central Asia will facilitate rapid development and transport to international markets of the large Caspian oil and gas resources, with substantial U.S. commercial participation. Resolution of regional conflicts such as Nagorno-Karabakh and Abkhazia is important for creating the stability necessary for development and transport of Caspian resources.
On November 18, 1999, President Clinton was present in Istanbul, Turkey for the signing of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline agreement and the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline Declaration. We actively supported the negotiations leading to these agreements and will continue to be actively engaged in both pipeline projects. We believe that the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and the trans-Caspian gas pipeline are commercially viable. The Export-Import Bank and OPIC stand ready to provide the necessary financing and insurance on a commercial basis to help bring these projects to fruition. The trans-Caspian gas pipeline is planned to begin delivering gas to Turkey in 2002 and the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is planned to begin delivering oil by 2004.
We support these agreements because they will achieve several important goals. They will help fulfill our commitment to the prosperity and independence of the Caspian states. The agreements will help the development of their societies into democratic, stable commonwealths, and will bolster relationships among the states. Countries on both sides of the Caspian – Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan – will be working together, united by a single vision. Development of Caspian energy resources will improve our energy security, as well as that of Turkey and other allies. It will create commercial opportunities for U.S. companies and other companies around the world. The Baku-Tbilisi-
Ceyhan pipeline is also the most environmentally sound approach to transporting oil resources from the Caspian region to world markets.