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Ambassador Sapiro Meets with Chilean Director General of International Economic Affairs Jorge Bunster

Ambassador Sapiro met with Chilean Director General of International Economic Affairs Jorge Bunster this morning to discuss the progress of implementation for the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The U.S.-Chile FTA entered into force on January 1, 2004. It eliminates tariffs and opens markets, reduces barriers for trade in services and provides protection for intellectual property. The FTA ensures regulatory transparency, guarantees nondiscrimination in the trade of digital products and commits the Parties to maintain laws that prohibit anticompetitive business conduct. It also requires effective labor and environmental enforcement.

The Agreement provided U.S. businesses an opportunity to increase sales to Chilean customers, and businesses across the country took advantage. Companies like the potato processing facility in Oregon that ships its dehydrated potato products to customers in that country helped increase U.S. exports to Chile by almost 250 percent. And a labeling manufacturer in Idaho relies on this Agreement to maintain a competitive edge in Chile and grow its business here at home.

Ports across the country have experienced an increased in goods going to and from Chile, with the Port of Tampa seeing increases of over 200 percent. This increase in merchandise traveling to and from the port supports well-paying jobs in the local community.

Over the past seven years, total trade between the two countries has grown by 138 percent to $15.3 billion in 2009. In 2009, U.S. exports to Chile totaled $9.3 billion. U.S. services to Chile also increased by over 75 percent, totaling almost $2 billion in 2008.