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US And Uruguay Sign TIFA

by Glen Shapiro,, New York

30 January 2007

Representatives of the Government of Uruguay and of the Government of the United States of America last Thursday signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Deputy US Trade Representative John Veroneau signed on behalf of the United States, and Presidential Chief of Staff Gonzalo Fernandez signed for Uruguay.

In signing this agreement, both parties reaffirmed their commitment to expand economic opportunities between Uruguay and the United States, while simultaneously coordinating their efforts to promote greater trade liberalization through the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Through the agreement, the parties established a United States-Uruguay Council on Trade and Investment. Uruguay’s Chief of Staff to the President and the United States Trade Representative will serve as joint chairs.

The TIFA sets forth a work program covering different matters, such as facilitation and liberalization of bilateral trade and investment (including agricultural issues), cooperation on SPS measures, technical barriers to trade, intellectual property rights, regulatory issues affecting trade policy and investment, information and communications technology and e-commerce, trade and technical capacity building, trade in services, government procurement, and other matters as the Council may decide.

Technical teams from both sides will start to exchange proposals in order to prepare for the first meeting of the Council on Trade and Investment in Washington in April 2007.

In November 2006, the US-Uruguay Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) entered into force.

The two countries signed the treaty on November 4, 2005. Uruguay completed its domestic ratification procedures at the end of 2005, and the US Senate approved a resolution granting its advice and consent for the treaty on September 12, 2006.

The US-Uruguay BIT is the first such treaty that the United States has concluded since 1999, and is the first BIT concluded on the basis of the US model BIT text, which was finalized in 2004.

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