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United States and Uruguay Continue to Advance Bilateral Trade Relations by Signing Two Protocols to the United States – Uruguay Trade and Investment Framework Agreement

 

Washington, D.C. – The
governments of the United
States and Uruguay today signed two protocols to
their bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).  The
protocols were signed by Uruguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs Gonzalo Fernández
and Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Everett Eissenstat.


The two protocols signed today cover substantive
commitments in the areas of trade facilitation and public participation in trade
and environment.  Both governments pledged continued cooperation in these
areas and dialogue also progresses under the TIFA work program.  This
ongoing dialogue may result in the conclusion of additional protocols in the
future.


“I am glad that today we signed two protocols on trade
facilitation and trade and environment under the TIFA and a Memorandum of
Understanding to advance cooperation on renewable energy and energy efficiency
yesterday,” expressed Minister of Foreign Affairs Gonzalo Fernández.  “We
are looking forward to continuing our work.” 

“I am pleased that we were able to conclude these
protocols,” said Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Everett Eissenstat.
 “Our joint commitment to strengthening our economic relations continues to
yield results.  These protocols represent a significant concrete step in
deepening our bilateral economic relationship.”


In addition to concluding the two protocols, the
United States and
Uruguay signed a Memorandum of
Understanding to advance cooperation on renewable energy and energy
efficiency.


Background


The U.S.-Uruguay commercial relationship has developed
significantly in the past several years.  In 2002, Uruguay and the United States
created a Joint Commission on Trade and Investment (JCTI) to exchange ideas on a
variety of economic topics.  The Commission served as an important
mechanism for the two countries to work to enhance and broaden their trade
relationship, and facilitated the successful negotiation of the
United
States – Uruguay Bilateral Investment Treaty
(BIT), which entered into force on November 1, 2006. 


The United
States and Uruguay signed the United States –
Uruguay TIFA on January 25, 2007.   The TIFA established the
United
States – Uruguay Trade and Investment Council
(TIC) and serves as a mechanism to further deepen the trade and investment
dialogue. Both parties reconfirmed their commitment to expand economic
opportunities between Uruguay
and the United
States while simultaneously coordinating their
efforts to promote greater trade liberalization through the World Trade
Organization (WTO) as they pursue their work under the TIFA.


The TIFA contains an annex that established a work program
calling for the two governments to address such matters as liberalization of
bilateral trade and investment, intellectual property rights, regulatory issues,
information and communications technology and electronic commerce, trade
facilitation, trade and technical capacity building, trade in services,
government procurement, and cooperation on sanitary and phytosanitary
measures.  The annex provides for the TIC to add other matters to the work
program.     


Since the TIFA entered into force, the TIC has met twice,
in April 2007 and April 2008.  Last month, Ambassador Susan C. Schwab and
Minister Fernández agreed that the United
States and Uruguay will convene another meeting
of the TIC by November 2008. 


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