Free Trade Area of the Americas - FTAA


Trade Negotiations

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October 12, 2000

Original: English



Name (s) Donald R. Mackay
Organization (s)
(if applicable)
Private Citizen
Country (ies) /
Region (s)

It is recommended that among the agreements reached in the FTAA negotiations, that an Agreement on Technical Assistance and the Participation of Smaller Economies be concluded. Such agreement would provide for the establishment and adequate funding of eight (8) specialized Offices to provide technical assistance on the implementation of FTAA obligations. Total funding in each year, for an initial five year period, would be established at $20 million. A special review conference, at Ministerial level, would be held after five years. Recommended draft text is provided below.

1. Establishment of Technical Assistance Bodies in the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas to assist the Smaller Economies in the implementation of their obligations as contained in the Agreement.

a. Member States agree to establish, inter alia, the following committees, bodies and other appropriate organs with the specific purpose and objective of assisting the smaller economies in their implementation of their obligations.

i. Office of Legal Consultations.
ii. Office of Technical Cooperation in Rules of Origin
iii. Office of Technical Cooperation in Customs Procedures
iv. Office of Technical Cooperation in Technical Barriers to Trade
v. Office of Technical Cooperation in Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
vi. Office of Technical Cooperation in Government Procurement
vii. Office of Technical Cooperation in Intellectual Property
viii. Office of Technical Cooperation in Competition Policy

b. Member States agree to fund the committees, bodies and other organs specified in article 1.a. for an initial period of 5 years. In each year of their operation, total funding shall not be less than twenty (20) million United States dollars. Annual funding of one (1) million United States dollars shall be set aside as a reserve fund for unanticipated expenses. Funding of not less than four (4) million United States dollars in each year shall be allocated to the Office of Legal Consultations.

c. Five years after the coming into force of the Agreement, Member States will convene a special meeting of Ministers to review the state of implementation in and by the Smaller Economies. Such special meeting shall be devoted exclusively to such a review, unless decided otherwise.

d. Member States recognizing and accepting funding commitments to achieve the objectives established above are enumerated in the following list.

1. Argentina – $2.5 million.
2. Brazil – $3 million.
3. Canada – $3 million.
4. Chile – $2.5 million.
5. Colombia – $1 million.
6. Costa Rica – $100,000
7. Jamaica – $100,000
8. Mexico – $2.5 million.
9. Peru – $100,000
10. Trinidad and Tobago – $100,000
11. Uruguay – $100,000
12. United States of America – $5 million.
13. Venezuela - $1 million.

a. Inscription on the list of funding Member States in paragraph d. above shall have no other effect on a Member State’s rights and obligation under this Agreement, including provisions that are, or may be, reserved to the benefit of that category of FTAA Member States that are deemed Smaller Economies. For greater clarity, the list of funding Member States does not impose any rights or obligations beyond those established in paragraph d.

e. At the request of the FTAA Member States, the institutions of the Tripartite Committee (Organization of American States, Inter-American Development Bank, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) agree, at their own expense, to second to the entities established in paragraph a. above, such experts and officials as are necessary for their effective operation. Additional staff for the entities established may be provided on a voluntary basis and seconded basis by FTAA Member States. Member States shall use their influence to encourage other multilateral bodies, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and non-Hemispheric state donors to contribute financial and resources in kind.

f. Staff and other administrative costs of the entities established in paragraph d. above shall in no individual instance, or any single year, or in five years in total, exceed twenty (20) per cent of financial resources budgeted for that entity. No less than eighty (80) per cent of budged financial resources shall be expended in direct technical assistance to the smaller economies.

g. Smaller economies may make application, individually or collectively, for the provision of technical assistance in the areas enumerated above. The FTAA Secretariat shall provide, on request, administrative support to the smaller economies in the drafting of such requests. Such requests shall be submitted to the Permanent Council of Representatives to the FTAA or such other appropriate permanent decision making body as may be established.

h. Technical evaluations of each request for technical assistance shall be provided to the Permanent Council of Representatives to the FTAA by the appropriate office enumerated in paragraph a. above.

i. The provisions of this Agreement on Technical Assistance shall not obviate the agreement to and the provisions for other forms of technical assistance that may be agreed upon collectively or bilaterally between the Member States of the FTAA.

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