Sice Free Trade Agreement

Since the beginning of 2000, several negotiating groups have met in Miami, Florida, on the implementation of the Toronto Department`s trade mandate. On 17 and 19 January, the negotiation group on subsidies, anti-dumping measures and countervailing duties met to work to remove barriers to trade and investment. Discussions focused on the interaction between trade and competition policy, including anti-dumping measures, as well as opportunities for further-deepening subsidy disciplines. The OAS Business Unit organized a seminar entitled “How Governments Can Continue to Promote and Facilitate the Use of Arbitration Procedures and Other Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods to Address Differences in the Private Sector within the FTAA Region. The seminar was held in Miami on May 4, just before the third meeting of the FTA Dispute Resolution Negotiating Group. Among the topics discussed were the public international legal order for private commercial arbitrations, arbitration and other alternative modes of dispute resolution, as well as differences between the law and common law perspectives and civil perspectives, the development of arbitration agreements and the application of arbitration awards in the hemisphere, experience in establishing an arbitration centre, and the work of the NAFTA Advisory Committee on Private Trade Disputes. There is sufficient evidence that this type of agreement, on the contrary, no longer gives multinationals the freedom to exploit workers and shape the national and global economy according to their interests. Other free trade agreements, such as those negotiated by the United States, are much broader and cover other issues, including services and investment. These agreements generally serve as a reference to existing WTO agreements. They often seek to go beyond what is stipulated in WTO rules. One of its stated objectives was to contribute to “harmonious development and the expansion of world trade” by removing barriers to bilateral trade.

The Competition Policy Negotiation Group met from 20 to 21 January 2000. The work focused on establishing a timetable and methodology for the execution of the commercial market in order to promote the development of competition policy and to ensure the application of the rules of free competition. The Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) was established at the vice-ministerial level. This committee is chaired by a chair and a vice-chair. The TNC is responsible for overseeing the nine negotiating groups (see below) and deciding on the overall architecture of the agreement and institutional issues. The TNC is also responsible for ensuring the full participation of all Member States in the ALEA process. In addition, the TNC will ensure that the concerns of small economies and countries with different levels of development are taken into account in each negotiating group.

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