As part of our effort to deepen
bilateral trade relations between our countries, we have been holding meetings under our United States-Dominican Republic Trade
and Investment Council (TIC). We held the first meeting in Washington last October and
another today here in theDominican Republic.
Our discussions covered a range of multilateral, regional and
bilateral issues that are currently the focus of our trade relationship. The United States has taken note
of the positive direction that President Mejia is actively working to take Dominican trade
The Dominican government informed the United States of the
constructive actions it has taken in recent months to foster agreement on important issues in the WTO
and to advance the market access process in the FTAA. The United States expressed
appreciation for these efforts and also recognized the Dominican government's work to resolve pending
bilateral issues. Our meeting today revealed substantial progress in those areas, and we will
intensify these efforts.
The Dominican Republic reiterated its interest in pursuing a free
trade agreement with the United States. The United States recognizes the significant trade and
historical relationship that the United States enjoys with the Dominican Republic and has an
abiding interest in further deepening that relationship. The United States also appreciates
the efforts demonstrated by the Dominican Republic toward building a solid record of cooperation
with the United States on important trade issues.
In that light, the United States expressed its willingness to
consider options, such as docking the Dominican Republic to the U.S.-Central America Free Trade
Agreement (CAFTA), at the appropriate time. We agreed to use the TIC process to keep one
another informed of progress in all areas under discussion. Further, the United States agreed to
expand our dialogue under the TIC to keep the Dominican government up to date on developments in
the CAFTA negotiations.