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

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TRADE: Trade Liberalization
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. 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).

  • 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)

  • 10.1 The availability of capital at competitive rates is essential to finance private sector investment--a vital ingredient in economic development. Developing, liberalizing and integrating financial markets domestically and internationally, increasing transparency, and establishing sound, comparable supervision and regulation of banking and securities markets will help to reduce the cost of capital by enhancing investor and depositor confidence. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 12.1 The nations of the Hemisphere have begun a new era of economic growth. This new era is based on greater economic cooperation, freer trade, and open markets. Sustainable economic development requires hemispheric cooperation in the field of energy. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

 

 

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