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News :: Environment
Puebla: a new step of the FTAA, with differences between USA and Brazil
04 Feb 2004
Modified: 12:57:27 PM
This Tuesday 3rd February, in Puebla, Mexico, will start a new meeting of the Economy and Commerce vice-ministers of the countries that have been carrying out the negotiations of the Free Trade Area of the Americas. The firm position of Brazil threats again the US intentions about the FTAA.
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The Economy and Commerce vice-ministers of the American countries will start this Tuesday in Puebla, Mexico, a new FTAA negotiations round, the first one after the Miami summit where it was agreed to make a “light” FTAA in which every country of the agreement could choose the issues and the commercial opening rhythm.
The Puebla meeting, that will finish next Friday 6th, must give specific time limits and reformulate the FTAA negotiations, that should finish in January 2005.

“After the ministerial meeting in Miami and the presidents meeting in Monterrey, it’s clear that there will be FTAA. What we are going to have in Puebla is a very clear definition about what it has to be, with two levels, one of common rules for everyone and other with more ambitious rules for those who would want to go further” explained to AFP, Fernando de Mateo, chief of coordination unity of the international negotiations of the Mexican Economy Secretary.

Mexico will host not only the negotiators, but also an alternative summit of demonstrations against the FTAA, coordinated in the recent 3rd Hemispheric Encounter of Fight against the FTAA, that had place in Havana, Cuba.

After the Brazilian opposition on most part of the 2003, and the noisy failure on the WTO meeting in September in Cancun, US acceded in the ministerial meeting of Miami to make a “light” version of the FTAA.

This makes the technicians in charge of the negotiations to modify the format in Puebla. “We are in a very curious situation, in which we have very advanced negotiations of disciplines such as goods and services, but after Miami we have to restructure the negotiations for the countries that adopt the common rules”, without going further, said de Mateo.

“In the second level –of broader liberalization- there will keep negotiating as it was being doing a couple months ago”, explained this expert, who confirmed that Mexico is totally supporter of keeping the nine big negotiation issues, and follow the sketch of its North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA.

This position contrasts with the MERCOSUR position (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), “In our version of the FTAA each of our countries has the power to keep its national policies”, what implies that the problems solutions must be made inside its frontiers, said Martin Redrado, secretary of Commerce and International Economic Relationships of the Argentinean government.
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