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FTAA Quito Ministerial Fact Sheet on U.S. Seven Key Objectives

Quito FTAA Ministerial: Mission Accomplished USTR Achieves Seven Key Objectives

Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick had announced seven key goals for the FTAA Ministerial held on November 1 in Quito, Ecuador. Below is a summary of the U.S. accomplishments at Quito.

1. Launched Hemispheric Cooperation Program (HCP). The United States won endorsement for a comprehensive trade capacity-building program to help small and developing countries in the region to fully benefit from the FTAA. Ambassador Zoellick announced at Quito that President Bush will seek a 37% increase in U.S. trade capacity-building assistance for the region in FY 2003, to $140 million.

2. Energized Market Access Negotiations. Through U.S. leadership, the Ministers confirmed the detailed schedule for the exchange of offers in services, investment, agriculture, government procurement, and non-agricultural market access. Initial market access offers will be submitted between December 15, 2002 and February 15, 2003, with revised offers due by July 15, 2003. The U.S. also achieved its aim to have tariff negotiations proceed from current applied rates, rather than higher WTO bound rates.

3. Assumed—along with Brazil—the chairmanship of the FTAA. The United States and Brazil will co-chair the FTAA process through the conclusion of negotiations in January 2005. Ministers agreed that their next meeting will be in Miami in late 2003, with another meeting set for Brazil in 2004. Ministers also announced 3 meetings of the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) for 2003, to take place in Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador, and Mexico.

4. Named strong slate of chairs for FTAA Negotiating Groups and Committees. In addition to assuming the joint chairmanship of the FTAA with Brazil, the United States won consensus on the appointment of new chairs for each of the FTAA negotiating groups and committees. The slate is contained in Annex II of the Ministerial Declaration, available on the USTR website at www.ustr.gov.

5. Released the second draft consolidated text of the FTAA—in record time. The U.S. won agreement from Ministers to release the consolidated text of the FTAA to the public. Thanks to the cooperation of the FTAA Secretariat and other countries, the text was made public immediately following the conclusion of the Ministerial. (See www.ustr.gov)

6. Consulted with business community. The Ministers met with representatives of the 7th Americas Business Forum (ABF) on October 31 and received detailed recommendations from workshops covering all areas of the negotiations.

7. Consulted with civil society representatives. Immediately following the ABF, Ministers met with representatives of hemispheric environmental groups, labor unions, parliamentarians and indigenous peoples to receive recommendations. USTR participated in a civil society meeting to discuss U.S. environmental assessments of trade agreements.

At Quito, the U.S. energized the FTAA negotiations and secured agreement on a clear timeline to advance talks to a successful conclusion by January 2005.