Organization of American States Summits of the Americas
     
Follow-up and Implementation: Mandates
 

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TRADE: Economic Integration
MANDATES

  1. Recognizing the contribution that economic integration can make to the achievement of the Summit objectives of creating jobs to fight poverty and strengthening democratic governance:

    1. Some member states maintain that we take into account the difficulties that the process of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations has encountered, and we recognize the significant contribution that the processes of economic integration and trade liberalization in the Americas can and should make to the achievement of the Summit objectives to create jobs to fight poverty and strengthen democratic governance. Therefore, we remain committed to the achievement of a balanced and comprehensive FTAA Agreement that aims at expanding trade flows and, at the global level, trade free from subsidies and trade-distorting practices, with concrete and substantive benefits for all, taking into account the differences in the size and the levels of development of the participating economies and the special needs and special and differential treatment of the smaller and vulnerable economies. We will actively participate to ensure a significant outcome of the Doha Round that will reflect the measures and proposals mentioned in the previous paragraph. We shall continue to promote the established practices and activities in the FTAA process that provide transparency and encourage participation of civil society.
      We instruct our officials responsible for trade negotiations to resume their meetings, during 2006, to examine the difficulties in the FTAA process, in order to overcome them and advance the negotiations within the framework adopted in Miami in November 2003. We also instruct our representatives in the institutions of the Tripartite Committee to continue allocating the resources necessary to support the FTAA Administrative Secretariat.

    2. Other member states maintain that the necessary conditions are not yet in place for achieving a balanced and equitable free trade agreement with effective access to markets free from subsidies and trade-distorting practices, and that takes into account the needs and sensitivities of all partners, as well as the differences in the levels of development and size of the economies.

    In view of the above, we have agreed to explore both positions in light of the outcomes of the next World Trade Organization ministerial meeting. To that end, the Government of Colombia will undertake consultations with a view to a meeting of the officials responsible for trade negotiations (Declaration of Mar del Plata, 2005).

  1. We welcome the progress achieved to date toward the establishment of a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and take note with satisfaction of the balanced results of the VIII Ministerial Meeting of the FTAA held in Miami in November 2003. We support the agreement of ministers on the framework and calendar adopted for concluding the negotiations for the FTAA in the established timetable, which will most effectively foster economic growth, the reduction of poverty, development, and integration through trade liberalization, contributing to the achievement of the broad Summit objectives.*
    * “Venezuela enters a reservation with respect to the paragraph on the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) because of questions of principle and profound differences regarding the concept and philosophy of the proposed model and because of the manner in which specific aspects and established timeframes are addressed. We ratify our commitment to the consolidation of a regional fair trade bloc as a basis for strengthening levels of integration. This process must consider each country´s particular cultural, social, and political characteristics; sovereignty and constitutionality; and the level and size of its economy, in order to guarantee fair treatment.” (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We welcome the significant progress achieved to date toward the establishment of a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), including the development of a preliminary draft FTAA Agreement. As agreed at the Miami Summit, free trade, without subsidies or unfair practices, along with an increasing stream of productive investments and greater economic integration, will promote regional prosperity, thus enabling the raising of the standard of living, the improvement of working conditions of people in the Americas and better protection of the environment. The decision to make public the preliminary draft of the FTAA Agreement is a clear demonstration of our collective commitment to transparency and to increasing and sustained communication with civil society (Declaration of Québec, 2001).*
    *The Venezuelan delegation reserves its position on paragraph 15 of the Declaration of Quebec City and paragraph 6-A of the Plan of Action, in light of consultations that are taking place in various sectors of the national government dedicated to our internal legislation, in order to fulfill the commitments that would result from the implementation of the FTAA in the year.

  1. We direct our Ministers to ensure that negotiations of the FTAA Agreement are concluded no later than January 2005 and to seek its entry into force as soon as possible thereafter, but in any case, no later than December 2005.** This will be a key element for generating the economic growth and prosperity in the Hemisphere that will contribute to the achievement of the broad Summit objectives. The Agreement should be balanced, comprehensive and consistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and disciplines and should constitute a single undertaking. We attach great importance to the design of an Agreement that takes into account the differences in the size and levels of development of participating economies (Declaration of Québec, 2001).**
    **The Venezuelan delegation reserves its position on paragraph 15 of the Declaration of Quebec City and paragraph 6-A of the Plan of Action, in light of consultations that are taking place in various sectors of the national government dedicated to our internal legislation, in order to fulfill the commitments that would result from the implementation of the FTAA in the year.

  1. Ensure negotiations of the FTAA Agreement are concluded no later than January 2005 and seek its entry into force as soon as possible thereafter but, in any case, no later than December 2005, in conformity with the principles and objectives established in the San Jose Ministerial Declaration, in particular the achievement of a balanced, comprehensive agreement, consistent with WTO rules and disciplines, the results of which will constitute a single undertaking embodying the rights and obligations, as mutually agreed:(Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Recognize the value of efforts undertaken to advance Hemispheric integration, including improved access to goods, services, capital and technology, to achieve the full range of social and other objectives; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Since our meeting in Miami, we have seen real economic benefits in the Americas resulting from more open trade, transparency in economic regulations, sound, market-based economic policies, as well as efforts by the private sector to increase its competitiveness. Even as countries in our region have been tested by financial and other economic pressures, and as countries in other regions have experienced serious economic setbacks, the overall course in the Americas has been one of faster economic growth, lower inflation, expanded opportunities, and confidence in facing the global marketplace. A major reason for this positive record has been our countries´ steadfast and cooperative efforts to promote prosperity through increased economic integration and more open economies. New partnerships have been formed and existing ones strengthened and expanded. A positive role is being played by sub-regional and bilateral integration and free trade agreements. We are confident that the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) will improve the well-being of all our people, including economically disadvantaged populations within our respective countries (Declaration of Santiago, 1998).

  1. The FTAA negotiating process will be transparent, and take into account the differences in the levels of development and size of the economies in the Americas, in order to create the opportunities for the full participation by all countries. We encourage all segments of civil society to participate in and contribute to the process in a constructive manner, through our respective mechanisms of dialogue and consultation and by presenting their views through the mechanism created in the FTAA negotiating process. We believe that economic integration, investment, and free trade are key factors for raising standards of living, improving the working conditions of the people of the Americas and better protecting the environment. These issues will be taken into account as we proceed with the economic integration process in the Americas (Declaration of Santiago, 1998).

  1. In addition to initiating the negotiations for the FTAA, we have defined a series of further actions which must be consistent with the FTAA negotiation, aimed at deepening the process of economic integration, as well as to create opportunities for the full participation of all countries, including the smaller economies. We have prepared a series of proposals to advance the modernization of financial markets, programs of science and technology, energy cooperation, and hemispheric infrastructure, in particular in the fields of transportation and telecommunications (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. We, therefore, resolve to begin immediately to construct the "Free Trade Area of the Americas" (FTAA), in which barriers to trade and investment will be progressively eliminated. We further resolve to conclude the negotiation of the "Free Trade Area of the Americas" no later than 2005, and agree that concrete progress toward the attainment of this objective will be made by the end of this century. We recognize the progress that already has been realized through the unilateral undertakings of each of our nations and the subregional trade arrangements in our Hemisphere. We will build on existing subregional and bilateral arrangements in order to broaden and deepen hemispheric economic integration and to bring the agreements together (Declaration of Principles Miami, 1994).

  1. We recognize that economic integration and the creation of a free trade area will be complex endeavors, particularly in view of the wide differences in the levels of development and size of economies existing in our Hemisphere. We will remain cognizant of these differences as we work toward economic integration in the Hemisphere. We look to our own resources, ingenuity, and individual capacities as well as to the international community to help us achieve our goals (Declaration of Principles Miami, 1994).

  • 9.1 While pursuing economic integration and free trade in the Hemisphere, we reinforce our strong commitment to multilateral rules and disciplines. We endorse full and rapid implementation of the Uruguay Round, active multilateral negotiations in the World Trade Organization, bilateral and sub regional trade agreements, and other trade arrangements that are consistent with the provisions of the GATT/WTO and that do not raise barriers to other nations. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 9.2 Extraordinary achievements have been made by countries of the Hemisphere in trade liberalization and sub regional integration. Free trade and increased economic integration are key factors for sustainable development. This will be furthered as we strive to make our trade liberalization and environmental policies mutually supportive, taking into account efforts undertaken by the GATT/WTO and other international organizations. As economic integration in the Hemisphere proceeds, we will further secure the observance and promotion of worker rights, as defined by appropriate international conventions. We will avoid disguised restrictions on trade, in accordance with the GATT/WTO and other international obligations. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 9.3 We will strive to maximize market openness through high levels of discipline as we build upon existing agreements in the Hemisphere. We also will strive for balanced and comprehensive agreements, including among others: tariffs and non-tariff barriers affecting trade in goods and services; agriculture; subsidies; investment; intellectual property rights; government procurement; technical barriers to trade; safeguards; rules of origin; antidumping and countervailing duties; sanitary and phytosanitary standards and procedures; dispute resolution; and competition policy. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994)

  • 9.5 As we work to achieve the "Free Trade Area of the Americas," opportunities such as technical assistance will be provided to facilitate the integration of the smaller economies and increase their level of development.
    Immediate Action Agenda. We direct our ministers responsible for trade to take the following concrete initial steps to achieve the "Free Trade Area of the Americas."(Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 9.7 Transparency in, and a clear understanding of, the subregional and bilateral agreements achieved to date among the nations in the Hemisphere are critical for advancing trade and investment integration in the Americas. We will direct the OAS Special Committee on Trade, with the support of the IDB, ECLAC, and other specialized regional and subregional organizations, to assist in the systematization of data in the region and to continue its work on studying economic integration arrangements in the Hemisphere, including brief comparative descriptions of the obligations in each of the Hemisphere's existing trade agreements. We will further direct the Special Committee on Trade to prepare a report of its work by June 1995 for the meeting of ministers.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 10.2 Form a Committee on Hemispheric Financial Issues to examine steps to promote the liberalization of capital movements and the progressive integration of capital markets, including, if deemed appropriate, the negotiation of common guidelines on capital movements that would provide for their progressive liberalization. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 10.4 Support the cooperative endeavors of the Association of Latin American and Caribbean Bank Supervisors and the Council of Securities Regulators of the Americas to provide sound supervision and regulation that support the development and progressive integration of markets.
    The Committee on Hemispheric Financial Issues should also review problems of debt in the Hemisphere, taking account of ongoing work and drawing, as appropriate, on a broad range of expertise. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

 

 

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