The Office of the United States Trade Representative

Second FTAA Issue Meeting on Services with Hemispheric Civil Society

On September 26, 2003, in Santiago, Chile, the countries participating in the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) held the second in a series of public issue meetings with civil society from around the hemisphere. The topic of the meeting was Services , and was hosted by the Government of Chile. FTAA governments from 15 countries met with civil society participants to discuss a broad range of views on the FTAA services negotiations, moderated by the Chair of the FTAA Committee of Government Representatives on the Participation of Civil Society (SOC), Luis Fernando Peredo Rojas, Vice Minister of Industry from Bolivia. A number of FTAA services negotiators from countries including the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru were also in attendance to hear the perspectives of the public, as well as the FTAA Chair of the Negotiating Group on Services, Hilary Hugh Deveaux of the Bahamas.

Over 120 people participated, including FTAA government officials, NGOs, consumer groups, academics, professional associations and industry representatives, sub-federal government officials and university students from Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, the United States, and Venezuela. Representatives of the U.N. Economic Commission on Latin America, the Interamerican Development Bank, and the Organization of American States were also present.

The United States led a private sector delegation to the civil society meeting which included Carlos Martel of the State of Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Alixandre Schijman of Time Warner, and Steve Solot of the Motion Picture Association.

The format of the meeting for each services topic included a presentation by a government representative and a presentation by a civil society representative, followed by an open audience debate. Civil society written statements and a report of the Services Issue Meeting with Hemispheric Civil Society will be included in a report to Vice Ministers and provided to FTAA Trade Ministers at the next Ministerial Meeting in Miami, Florida in November 2003.

The next FTAA Issue Meetings with civil society will be held in 2004 in the Dominican Republic on the topic of Intellectual Property Rights; and in the United States on the topic of Industrial and Consumer Goods Market Access, with a special session on Small and Medium-Sized Business.