Joint Statement of the First Meeting of the Trade Ministers of the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity

March 19, 2024

Barbados, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, the United States, and Uruguay issued the following joint statement following the first Trade Ministerial of the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity (Americas Partnership) on March 18, 2024:
Today, Ministers with primary responsibility for international trade and investment from each of the Americas Partnership countries held their first meeting since the release of the Leaders’ East Room Declaration in November 2023. The virtual meeting focused on implementation of the Leaders’ guidance related to trade and investment and plans for an in-person Trade Ministerial Meeting this year.

The Ministers emphasized how the Americas Partnership can complement and build on existing trade ties, further deepen economic integration in the region, and develop sustainable and inclusive approaches to trade and investment. They also recalled Leaders’ expectation that the trade agenda under the Americas Partnership create formal jobs that lead to decent work and promote internationally recognized labor rights, environmental sustainability, and economic inclusion. The Ministers reiterated the importance of timely implementation of Leaders’ priorities, including work on trade facilitation and digitalization of customs procedures; conducting a gap analysis of value and supply chains in the critical sectors of clean energy, semiconductors, and medical supplies; and developing activities to promote greater access to the benefits of trade for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and underserved communities.
During the meeting, the Ministers received a progress update on these priorities from the Senior Officials of the Council on Trade and Competitiveness (CTC), including the establishment of committees on Trade Rules and Transparency, Sustainable Value and Supply Chains, and Inclusive Trade and SMEs, and their ongoing technical work. The Ministers took note of the work already underway and directed the CTC to maximize efforts in light of the Second Leaders’ Summit to be held in Costa Rica in 2025, including by ensuring that the technical leads for all committees and working groups have been identified and hold their first meetings as soon as possible.

Recognizing the ambitious regional goals of the Americas Partnership, the Ministers also directed the CTC to actively consider priorities for 2025. Ministers stressed the importance of broad and inclusive stakeholder engagement in developing projects for the trade work of the Americas Partnership and encouraged the CTC to continue its exchange of information on approaches to stakeholder engagement and best practices to promote inclusivity.
Ministers reiterated their commitment to making the Americas Partnership a durable structure for regional cooperation on trade and investment issues and welcomed Ecuador’s offer to host an in-person Trade Ministerial Meeting of the Americas Partnership this summer.