WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick and
Uruguayan Minister of Economy and Finance Isaac Alfie announced today the
successful conclusion of negotiations for a United States – Uruguay Bilateral
Investment Treaty (BIT). The agreement will strengthen investment and trade ties
between the two countries and will lead to better protection for U.S.
investments in the South American nation.
"This agreement will deepen our economic relationship with Uruguay and
strengthen protections for U.S. investors, thus encouraging two-way trade," said
Zoellick. "Today marks another important step forward in President Bush’s work
to build stronger economic ties between the United States and Latin America.
Through investment and trade, we can support jobs, hope and opportunity in all
the nations of the Western Hemisphere."
The Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Department of
State led the U.S. negotiating team. "This agreement will complement and
reinforce the significant economic reforms already undertaken by Uruguay and
provide greater confidence to U.S. and Uruguayan investors. I believe it will
contribute significantly to Uruguay's ongoing economic progress," said Under
Secretary of State Alan P. Larson.
Uruguay’s negotiating team was led by Ernesto Medina of the Ministry of
Economy and Finance. Uruguay’s Ambassador to the United States, Hugo Fernandez
Faingold, also played a critical role. "I want to thank Minister Alfie, Mr.
Medina, Ambassador Fernandez Faingold, and their team for working with us to
successfully conclude these talks, and I am pleased that the work we initiated
with Foreign Minister Opertti last November has been so quickly concluded," said
The United States and Uruguay announced their intention to negotiate a
Bilateral Investment Treaty on November 18, 2003, at the conclusion of the Free
Trade Area of the Americas Ministerial in Miami, Florida. The decision to
negotiate this agreement sprang from the work of the United States-Uruguay Joint
Commission on Trade and Investment. The Joint Commission was established
following President Jorge Batlle's February 2002 visit to the White House. Since
April 2002, the Commission has pursued an ambitious work plan designed to
strengthen the U.S. - Uruguay trade relationship. With negotiations now
completed, the necessary legal reviews of the texts are expected to be concluded
in October, after which the agreement will be formally signed.