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Quito FTAA Ministerial: Mission Accomplished USTR Achieves Seven Key Objectives
Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick had announced seven key goals for
the FTAA Ministerial held on November 1 in Quito, Ecuador. Below is a summary of
the U.S. accomplishments at Quito.
1. Launched Hemispheric Cooperation Program (HCP). The United States won endorsement for a comprehensive
trade capacity-building program to help small and developing countries in the
region to fully benefit from the FTAA. Ambassador Zoellick announced at Quito
that President Bush will seek a 37% increase in U.S. trade capacity-building
assistance for the region in FY 2003, to $140 million.
2. Energized Market Access Negotiations. Through U.S. leadership, the Ministers confirmed the detailed schedule
for the exchange of offers in services, investment, agriculture, government
procurement, and non-agricultural market access. Initial market access offers
will be submitted between December 15, 2002 and February 15, 2003, with revised
offers due by July 15, 2003. The U.S. also achieved its aim to have tariff
negotiations proceed from current applied rates, rather than higher WTO bound
3. Assumed—along with Brazil—the chairmanship of the FTAA. The United States and Brazil will co-chair the FTAA
process through the conclusion of negotiations in January 2005. Ministers agreed
that their next meeting will be in Miami in late 2003, with another meeting set
for Brazil in 2004. Ministers also announced 3 meetings of the Trade
Negotiations Committee (TNC) for 2003, to take place in Trinidad and Tobago, El
Salvador, and Mexico.
4. Named strong slate of chairs for FTAA Negotiating Groups and
Committees. In addition to assuming the
joint chairmanship of the FTAA with Brazil, the United States won consensus on
the appointment of new chairs for each of the FTAA negotiating groups and
committees. The slate is contained in Annex II of the Ministerial Declaration,
available on the USTR website at www.ustr.gov.
5. Released the second draft consolidated text of the FTAA—in record
time. The U.S. won agreement from
Ministers to release the consolidated text of the FTAA to the public. Thanks to
the cooperation of the FTAA Secretariat and other countries, the text was made
public immediately following the
conclusion of the Ministerial. (See
6. Consulted with business community. The Ministers met with representatives of the 7th Americas Business
Forum (ABF) on October 31 and received detailed recommendations from workshops
covering all areas of the negotiations.
7. Consulted with civil society representatives. Immediately following the ABF, Ministers met with
representatives of hemispheric environmental groups, labor unions,
parliamentarians and indigenous peoples to receive recommendations. USTR
participated in a civil society meeting to discuss U.S. environmental
assessments of trade agreements.
At Quito, the U.S. energized the FTAA negotiations and secured
agreement on a clear timeline to advance talks to a successful conclusion by