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U.S. Announces Regional Seminar on the FTAA

Unique Opportunity for Public Participation

WASHINGTON- The United States, Mexico and Canada, the three North American countries negotiating the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) are inviting the public to attend a regional seminar on the FTAA in Merida, Mexico, on July 18, 2002.

The seminar will provide the public with an opportunity to hear governmental and non-governmental officials discuss various aspects of the FTAA negotiation. The topics covered will include market access, agriculture, services, investment, transparency and civil society participation in the FTAA process, as well as the benefits of trade liberalization. The seminar is one of several regional seminars that will be held in the hemisphere providing opportunities for the public to discuss the FTAA.

"The FTAA is a top priority for the United States - it will create the largest free trade zone in history, spanning the 34 democracies of the Western Hemisphere," said U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick. "Ongoing public participation in the FTAA process is critical - this seminar is a unique opportunity for exchanging views on the whole range of FTAA issues."