Trade Negotiator Outlines Plans For Free Trade Pact In The Americas

U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick has notified Congress that he plans to pursue a Free
Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), hoping to conclude negotiations by January, 2005. In letters to
the House and Senate, Zoellick said negotiations will seek to eliminate tariff and non-tariff
barriers to trade, and he will pursue other measures to encourage greater reciprocal market access.
In announcing his plans, Zoellick said, “The FTAA negotiations offer the United States an
opportunity to lead the Americas toward stable and continuing economic growth, improved living
standards and higher paying jobs in all FTAA countries. By reducing and then eliminating
hemispheric trade barriers, the FTAA will provide substantial and growing markets for U.S. goods
and services.” Textile interests in Washington, both manufacturers and importers, support the
concept of an FTAA but they are wary of how the plan will actually be carried out.
October 2002