Representatives of the Government of the United States of America and of the Government of Uruguay today in Washington, D.C. agreed on the Work Program for 2002 of the Joint Commission on Trade and Investment ("Commission").
Assistant United States Trade Representative Regina Vargo met with the Uruguayan delegation headed by Uruguayan Coordinator Isidoro Hodara and including the Ambassador of Uruguay to the United States, Hugo Fernandez Faingold, and Minister Counsellor Ricardo Nario.
This work program sets forth several working groups and the issues to be discussed in each group. The groups are Trade in Goods, Investment, Services, Electronic Commerce, Biotechnology, Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) Measures and Intellectual Property. The SPS working group met on May 22 in Montevideo. The Trade in Goods working group met on June 7 in Washington, DC. The two countries have also set forth a notional schedule for future working group meetings.
The Joint Commission was established last April in Montevideo to formalize the process initiated at the meeting held on February 11, 2002, between President Jorge Batlle of Uruguay and USTR Robert Zoellick during the former's visit to President George W. Bush in Washington, D.C.
In signing this agreement, both parties reaffirmed their commitment to pursue means to increase trade and investment between the United States and Uruguay, while simultaneously coordinating their efforts to promote greater trade liberalization through the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).