USTR Publishes Singapore FTA Text
WASHINGTON - The United States today published the entire text of the proposed U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA), an 800-plus page document spanning the 21 chapters of the FTA. It includes the agreement's complete timetables for eliminating duties on bilateral trade, rules of origin for goods and the detailed schedules of commitments in services and investment, including financial services. The Administration also published today 24 detailed issue summaries of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement, and anticipates that the full text of that agreement will be made public at the end of this month.
"These are first-rate, leading edge agreements that will benefit American workers, farmers, consumers and industry," said U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick. "By releasing the texts well before these agreements are signed, and months before Congress will vote on them under TPA procedures, the public and interested parties will have ample time to review for themselves the results of our negotiations."
Publication of the proposed U.S.-Singapore FTA represents the Administration's commitment to an open and public process of reviewing trade agreements by all interested parties. Public summaries and fact sheets were made immediately available upon conclusion of the agreements. The full texts of both agreements have been available to members of Congress and the approximately 700 private sector advisers since early January. In addition, as negotiations on the agreements progressed over the past two years, the Administration has provided Congress and the official private sector advisors U.S. negotiating proposals in advance of formally tabling them with Singapore and Chile. U.S. negotiators also held more than 100 meetings with some 700 cleared advisors from business, farm groups, labor unions, environmental groups, consumer organizations, and state governments to discuss and seek their advice, on U.S. negotiating positions.
On February 28, the 31 officially chartered advisory committees reported to the President and the Congress on the two FTAs. Virtually all of the committees expressed overwhelming support for both agreements.
Since the negotiations with Singapore and Chile were completed, U.S. and Chilean and Singaporean lawyers have been reviewing the FTAs for legal clarity and consistency. The legal review of the Chile FTA text requires additional work because both English and Spanish texts are equally authentic, and each must be fully reviewed and verified; the Singapore text is in English only. Final legal reviews are expected to be completed over the coming weeks.
Previous U.S. free trade agreements have been made public at various stages. The U.S.-Canada FTA, was released first in outline form and the complete text of the proposed agreement was made public two months later. The draft NAFTA text was released to the public several weeks after the proposed agreement was announced and was finalized over a period of weeks thereafter as part of a three-way legal review. The U.S.- Jordan FTA was made public only after it was signed.