Free Trade Area of the Americas - FTAA


Trade Negotiations

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August 28, 2003

Original: Spanish
Translation: FTAA Secretariat


Twenty-Second Meeting

Puebla, 18 - 22 August 2003


  1. The Twenty-Second Meeting of the Negotiating Group on Competition Policy (NGCP) was held in Puebla from 18 to 22 August 2003. In attendance were representatives from the following 13 countries in the Hemisphere:

    Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, and United States. Some countries were represented by sub-regional spokespersons.

    The meeting proceeded in accordance with the attached agenda, and several tasks were completed, including the following:

    • The Chair briefly informed the delegations on the results of the TNC meeting that took place from 8-11 July 2003 in San Salvador, including progress in the negotiations and some guidance from the TNC and the TCI on the tasks to be performed before the next Ministerial Meeting.

    • As in previous sessions, the Hemispheric Cooperation Program (HCP) was discussed, and the delegates were urged to continue collaborating in the development of national action plans.

    • Substantive progress was made in reaching consensus on issues in the draft Chapter related to treatment, and General Provisions. The delegations also reviewed the reordering of the Chapter, in institutional aspects - the Competition Committee and the Competition Policy Review Mechanism, Mechanisms for Cooperation and Exchange of Information, Consultations, Dispute Settlement, Technical Assistance, Transitional Periods or Measures, or special and differential treatment, and General Provisions. The delegates also reviewed the reordering of the Chapter in accordance with the proposed new format.

    • Additional responses to the questionnaire for countries that do not have competition laws were received as were recommendations that will enrich a report to help achieve the goal of capacity building in this area and, thereby, derive more benefit from the HCP. 

    • Also, the Group has started to receive additional background information from countries, which will be used to update the Inventory of Domestic Laws and Regulations Relating to Competition Policy in the Western Hemisphere. This document, together with the inventories of the Development and Enforcement of Competition Policy and Laws, and of Regional Agreements, has lent recognizably greater transparency to competition regimes.

    • The delegations discussed the draft Report to the Fifteenth Meeting of the TNC, to be held in Trinidad and Tobago in September. The report gives an account of the work performed by the Group since the Quito Ministerial Meeting, held last November. This report highlights the main points of consensus reached by the Group, as well as the issues that still require further discussion in the negotiations.

    • The Group considered the contributions from civil society and made comments in that regard. A report was distributed on the contributions received since the Quito Ministerial Meeting.

  2. Technical Assistance meetings, held parallel to the NGCP meetings, were resumed in order to address the concerns of smaller economies.


Twenty-Second Meeting

Puebla, 18 - 22 August 2003


  1. Report from Chair on the Fourteenth Meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) held in San Salvador on 8-11 July 2003, and review of the TNC’s Guidance And Instructions to FTAA Entities (FTAA.TNC/23).

  2. Review of the Hemispheric Cooperation Program.

  3. Continued delivery by delegations of the questionnaire for countries that do not have competition laws, after being duly completed, with a view to distributing and discussing the tables prepared by the Tripartite Committee. In addition, request to update information on the Inventory of Domestic Laws and Regulations Relating to Competition Policy in the Western Hemisphere.

  4. Work towards eliminating brackets from the draft Chapter on Competition Policy.

  5. Overall reconsideration and restructuring of the draft Chapter pursuant to the template provided in document Template.

  6. Preparation of the Group's report to Fifteenth Meeting of the TNC pursuant to document Report from the Negotiating Groups and Technical Committee on Institutional Issues to the Trade Negotiations Committee.

  7. Discussion of civil society contributions.

  8. Other business.
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