Uruguay, US open trade talks

Montevideo, October 4 :

Uruguayan and US negotiators agreed to negotiate a deal to protect intellectual property rights, speed customs handling and streamline red tape in bilateral trade, officials said.

“We agreed to launch talks with the goal of signing, as soon as possible, a framework agreement to strengthen our bilateral relations in trade and investment matters,” said a statement read by Gonzalo Fernandez, head of Uruguay’s delegation. Assistant US trade representative Everett Eissenstat said he was “quite confident that we can as soon as possible conclude negotiations for the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).”

TIFAs set legal protections for investors and for intellectual property such as patents and copyrights, as well as transparency and efficiency in customs and in government and commercial regulations. The statement also said that the two countries entered into an additional agreement for an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, to go into force in November. President Tabare Vazquez announced that his government would negotiate a TIFA after a US offer to enter into a broader FTA met resistance within his governing coalition.