April 3-4, 2006
Representatives of the Government of the United States of America and of the
Government of Uruguay met in Washington, D.C. on April 3-4, 2006, to prioritize
a Work Program for 2006 of the Joint Commission on Trade and Investment
Assistant United States Trade Representative Everett Eissenstat headed the
U.S. delegation, while Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining, Jorge Lepra,
headed the Uruguayan delegation.
Discussions during the meetings focused on key areas such as the
telecommunications sector, electronic commerce, agriculture and sanitary and
phyto-sanitary (SPS) measures, the Generalized System of Preferences, textiles,
and intellectual property.
Both governments agreed to consult with the private sector to explore
establishing a public-private sector partnership, with the aim of promoting
information and communication technologies in Uruguay. The United States and
Uruguay also agreed to continue their bilateral discussions on intellectual
property right issues through the upcoming year. On textiles, the two
governments agreed to encourage our respective textile industries to meet in the
near term to discuss bilateral market opportunities and acknowledged that the
Doha Development Agenda is the current forum for textile tariff negotiations.
In the area of agriculture, the governments agreed to share updated
information on SPS priorities. Following the exchange of such information, the
parties plan to convene a meeting of the Consultative Committee on Agriculture
in the near term. Both parties agreed to a meeting between Uruguayan agriculture
officials and representatives of the Dairy Group in the Imports and Policy
Program Division of the Foreign Agricultural Service at the U.S. Department of
Agriculture to discuss quota administration issues. The United States and
Uruguay concurred that the Doha Development Agenda is the best multilateral
vehicle to discuss global reduction in agricultural tariffs and expand quotas.
Established in 2002, the Commission has evolved into an effective mechanism
for the two countries to work to enhance and broaden their trade relationship
and to coordinate in areas of mutual interest, such as in the successful
negotiation of the U.S.-Uruguay Bilateral Investment Treaty. The governments of
the United States and Uruguay agreed to convene another meeting of the
Commission before the end of the year.