WASHINGTON - The United States and
Chile will sign the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement on Friday, June
6th in Miami, Florida. U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick
will sign the agreement on behalf of the United States, and Chilean Foreign
Minister Soledad Alvear will sign for Chile.
Further details on the signing
ceremony will be announced as they become available. Once signed, the agreement
must be approved by both the U.S. and Chilean legislatures.
The U.S.-Chile FTA negotiations
were completed on December 11, 2002. Under the Trade Act of 2002, the
Administration must notify Congress at least 90 days before signing the
agreement. This notification was sent on January 30, 2003. As soon as the
negotiations were completed, the agreement underwent an extensive legal review.
In addition, the text of the agreement had to be translated into Spanish, which
is near completion. Both the English and Spanish versions will be equally
A center for regional trade, Miami
is hosting the Free Trade Area of the
Americas (FTAA) Ministerial in November
21-23, 2003. Miami was the site
of the 1994 Summit of the Americas, where the
idea of US-Chile FTA was
The U.S.-Chile FTA is the first
between the United States and a South American country. The United States has
four free trade partners: Canada and Mexico (NAFTA); Israel; and, Jordan. An FTA
with Singapore was also recently signed. Both the Chile and Singapore FTAs
require Congressional ratification. In accordance with TPA requirements, the
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will work closely and expeditiously with
the Congress on legislation to implement these agreements.
Two-way trade in goods (exports
plus imports) between the United States and Chile totaled $6.4 billion in 2002,
with the United States in deficit by $1.2 billion. Two-way trade in services in
2001 (latest year available) amounted to $2.2 billion, with the United States in
surplus by $472 million. Since 1994, U.S. goods trade with Chile has expanded by
39% (to 2002) and services trade by 37% (to 2001).
The United States and Chile began
bilateral negotiations on an FTA in December 2000, holding a series of 14
negotiating rounds with teams of specialists, alternating between Santiago,
Chile and cities in the United States, including Miami, Atlanta and Washington,