Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick, United States
Trade Representative; Fernando Canales, Mexico’s Secretary of Economy; and The
Honourable James Peterson, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, are pleased
to release the following Joint Statement, which outlines the overall results of
the July 16, 2004, meeting of the NAFTA Free Trade Commission, in San Antonio,
ago, our countries launched a bold initiative: to create the world’s largest
free trade area, one that would knit our countries together through freer trade
and investment. Today, as we look
back over the record of the last decade, we are proud of the
accomplishments. We remain
committed to the full implementation of the NAFTA, and to building upon our
achievements to date. By any
measure, NAFTA has been a success.
The dismantling of barriers has led to increased trade and investment,
growth in employment, and enhanced competitiveness.
January 1, 1994, when the
NAFTA entered into force, three-way trade among our countries has reached over
US $623 billion, more than double the pre-NAFTA level. From 1994 to 2003, cumulative Foreign
Direct Investment in our three countries has increased by over US $1.7 trillion.
Increased investment has brought more and better-paying jobs, as well as lower
costs and more choices for consumers and producers.
we are pleased to take note of the success of the North American Agreement on
Environmental Co-operation and the North American Agreement on Labor
Co-operation. These agreements,
which have also marked ten years since their entry into force, have effectively
promoted better environmental performance and working conditions in
however, rest on past accomplishments. We are committed to deepening economic
integration in North America by building on the NAFTA to
further benefit businesses, workers, and consumers. With virtually all tariffs and quotas on
North American trade eliminated, we are looking for additional ways to enhance
trade and investment by lowering transaction costs and other administrative
burdens. In addition, we agreed to
explore a broad range of ways to further integrate our economies through trade
and boost competitiveness. We asked our officials to place a particular emphasis
on areas such as manufacturing, services, business facilitation, compatibility
of standards, and the further elimination of technical barriers to trade. We want to ensure that NAFTA provides
our countries with a competitive advantage in a world of global sourcing.
we asked the NAFTA Working Group on Rules of Origin to pursue further
liberalization of the NAFTA rules of origin. Today we have reached tentative
agreement to liberalize the rules of origin for a broad range of foods, consumer
and industrial products. Together,
these changes will affect over $20 billion in trilateral trade. We have asked our officials to begin our
respective domestic procedures required to implement these changes on January 1, 2005. We also asked the Working Group on Rules
of Origin to continue its work to pursue further liberalization of the rules of
origin, including those for chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics and rubber,
motor vehicles and their parts, footwear and copper, as well as any items for
which all of our countries have a common MFN duty rate of zero. In addition, we asked the Working Group
to continue considering new requests from our consumers and producers and to
examine the rules of origin in the free trade agreements that each country has
negotiated subsequent to the NAFTA, to determine if we should apply those new
rules to the NAFTA. We instructed
officials to initiate the necessary consultations with domestic industries and
to report to our Deputies at their next meeting.
the progress of the trilateral working group negotiating provisions on the
exportation of tequila. We instructed our officials to complete this work prior
to the next Deputies Meeting in the fall of 2004.
committed to transparency in trade negotiations. The negotiating texts of the
NAFTA are documents of historical value and we recognize the level of public
interest in them. We asked our officials to compile the NAFTA negotiating texts,
bearing in mind the time necessary to complete this. We began the process with
Chapter 11 and are pleased to announce that the Chapter 11 text will be
available through our websites.
pleased that the transparency initiatives we took during our October 7, 2003 meeting in
Montreal have already begun to
improve the operation of the investment chapter’s investor-state
Earlier this year, for the first time a tribunal accepted written
submissions from a non-disputing party and adopted the procedures that we
recommended following our meeting in
Montreal, for the handling of such
pleased Mexico has now joined
Canada and the
United States in
supporting open hearings for investor-state disputes. In addition, we have agreed that
the same degree of openness should apply to proceedings under the Dispute
Settlement provisions of Chapter 20 of the NAFTA, and asked officials to develop
rules governing open hearings for such proceedings.
reaffirmed our interest in the on-going review of the operation of the
Investment Chapter and directed officials to continue work seeking ways to
improve the implementation of the chapter, including through, where appropriate,
an examination of all of our experiences in subsequent free trade agreements
which we have negotiated.
value of the NAFTA’s Dispute Settlement provisions, we reaffirm our commitment
to their effective operation.
the current state and the future prospects for the North American textile and
apparel sectors. We addressed the
impending liberalization of international textile and apparel trade at the end
of 2004 and asked our officials to continue to consider actions such as
cumulation among countries with whom we each have free trade agreements in order
to enhance the competitiveness of our industries. We are committed to
strengthening efforts to combat illegal transshipment and will continue to
explore mechanisms to increase trilateral cooperation in this area. We also want to encourage the textile
and apparel industries of North America to come together
and identify areas of common interest where private sector cooperation could
contribute to the development of the sectors.
We are also
pleased that the NAFTA countries are close to finalizing an arrangement on the
use of care symbols for textile and apparel goods. The uniform acceptance of
care instruction symbols in our three countries will facilitate trade in our
region and will send a positive signal that we are fully committed to pursuing
further integration in this sector.
We asked our Deputies to report to us by December 1 on the prospects and
opportunities for the North American market.
recognized the critical importance of the August 30, 2003, decision of the WTO
Members to address the public health problems affecting many developing and
least-developed countries, especially those resulting from HIV/AIDS,
tuberculosis, malaria and other epidemics, and agreed to ensure that this
historic multilateral decision is fully reflected in the context of the
the continuing work of the Council of the North American Commission on
Environmental Cooperation to protect the environment in North
America. We ask our
officials to continue their close cooperation with their environmental
colleagues, through the Article 10(6) Working Group, to develop a strategic plan
on trade and the environment.
reaffirmed our commitment to achieving meaningful progress this year on the
WTO’s Doha Development Agenda. We
are encouraged by the reinvigoration of the negotiations on the Doha Development
Agenda. In agriculture, we are on
the verge of an historic agreement that this round will: eliminate export subsidies and
discipline other forms of export competition in a parallel manner; substantially
reduce and discipline trade-distorting domestic supports far in excess of what
was achieved in previous negotiations; and substantially improve market access
for all agricultural products, especially for developing countries. Working in cooperation with other WTO
members, we are determined to complete the frameworks on key issues before the
end of July that will put these far-reaching negotiations on track toward a
rapid and successful conclusion. We
call on all WTO members to work constructively and swiftly so we can meet our
shared commitment to the Doha Development Agenda.
At the same
time, we reaffirmed our commitment to the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)
process and the successful conclusion of negotiations on a comprehensive,
ambitious multilateral agreement including common rules, plurilateral rules, and
market access that is compatible with the WTO.
to publish on the three Ministries’ web sites a trilateral brochure on the
Mexico will host
the next NAFTA Commission meeting, at the Ministerial level, in 2005.