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Ambassador Sapiro Chairs U.S.-Chile Free Trade Commission

Last week, Deputy United States Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro traveled to Santiago, Chile to chair the 7th meeting of the United States-Chile Free Trade Commission (FTC). The Commission is responsible for overseeing implementation and administration of the United States-Chile free trade agreement, to ensure that the benefits of the agreement are widely shared by both countries.

Ambassador Sapiro Chairs the 7th meeting of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Commission
Ambassador Sapiro Chairs the 7th meeting of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Commission

Ambassador Sapiro participated in discussions covering a range of bilateral issues, including the agreement’s intellectual property rights obligations. The United States and Chile finalized an agreement to modify several rules of origin that will increase trade in certain products such as spices and spice mixtures, coffee, certain machinery and equipment, and lamps. These amendments will enter into force on November 1, 2011 and cover $1.4 billion in bilateral trade. The parties also held a morning session to explore ways in which small- and medium-sized businesses can take greater advantage of the agreement.

Following the FTC meeting, Ambassador Sapiro addressed members of Chile American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), where she discussed the dynamic trading relationship between our two countries. Highlighting the Administration’s commitment to Chile and Latin America more broadly, she emphasized our desire not only to fully realize the benefits of the trade agreements, but to also look for ways to further enhance our relationship with our Latin American neighbors. Ambassador Sapiro also spoke at a lunch hosted by the members of the Chile-North American Interparliamentary Group at the Chilean Parliament building in the city of Valparaiso. At the lunch, she addressed a number of trade-related questions posed by the Chilean lawmakers, including the Presidents of the Senate and House chambers. Ambassador Sapiro then visited a winery owned by a U.S. investor, where she discussed growing trade opportunities in the wine industry.

Trade between the U.S. and Chile has nearly tripled since the trade agreement entered into force in 2004, with bilateral trade in goods between our countries growing from more than $6 billion in 2003 to $18 billion in 2010. The Commission agreed to hold its next meeting in Washington, DC in 2012.

You can read the draft joint statement of the meeting here.