Compiled ByDeborah Austin Collaborators have announced the first release of a standard, industrywide trading partner agreement (TPA) addressing legal requirements of electronic information exchange. Lead participants of the initiative are the European Electronic Component Manufacturers Assn., (EECA), European Semiconductor Industry Assn., (ESIA), RosettaNet (independent nonprofit consortium for collaborative development of open Internet-based standards) and EDIFICE (Standardized Electronic Commerce forum for companies with interests in computing, electronics and telecommunication). Until now, a general legal agreement governing electronic information exchange for supply-chain partners did not exist, say collaborators, and legal provisions of today's agreements require adaptation for e-business needs. A standard TPA, they say, will help avoid long negotiations when connecting with new partners. A completed standard should be available for industry use by year-end 2001. The current draft is downloadable at the RosettaNet Web site. RosettaNetEDIFICEEuropean Electronic Component Manufacturers Assn.