Comparative Guide Chile - U.S. FTA and DR - CAFTA - Chapter 21: Administration of the Agreement

A Comparative Guide to the Chile-United States Free Trade Agreement and the
Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement


Chapter Twenty-One: Administration of the Agreement


Table of Contents

The institutionalization of both Agreements is straightforward in order to avoid making them bureaucratic and complex.

This Chapter (Chile-U.S. FTA Chapter 21 and DR-CAFTA Chapter 19) describes the Commission, Committee and/or working groups established to supervise, oversee and handle any other administrative matters of the Agreement. In addition, the Chapter describes the duties and responsibilities of all Parties involved in the administration. In the Administration Chapter, both the Chile-U.S. FTA and DR-CAFTA are very similar, differing only slightly in the details involving the interaction of the seven Parties of DR-CAFTA. However, the inclusion of the Committee on Trade Capacity Building in DR-CAFTA is a first for any U.S. FTA.

Committee on Trade Capacity Building: (Art.19.4) DR-CAFTA establishes a Committee on Trade Capacity Building to foster trade-driven economic growth, poverty reduction, and adjustment to liberalized trade. This Committee shall receive periodically from each party the updated national strategies to assist in the implementation and adjustment of the Agreement; seek to prioritize trade capacity building projects; invite donor institutions, private sector and NGO’s to provide assistance; monitor and assess progress in the implementation of the projects; work with other committees and working groups of the Agreement; provide an annual report to the Commission.

The Trade Capacity Building Committee will meet at least twice a year and its decisions shall be taken by consensus. In addition, an initial working group on customs administration and trade facilitation is established to work under and report to the Committee.

The Free Trade Commission: both FTAs establish a Free Trade Commission, comprising of cabinet level representatives to supervise the implementation of the Agreement among other administrative duties. This Commission is scheduled to meet at least once a year.

Furthermore, while DR-CAFTA (Art.19.1) states that the Commission may issue interpretations of the provisions of this Agreement; seek the advice of non-governmental persons or groups and take such other action in the exercise of its functions as the Parties may agree, Chile-U.S. FTA (Art.21.1) does not mention it specifically.

Free Trade Agreement Coordinators: DR-CAFTA notes that the Commission shall establish its rules and procedures and that all decisions of the Commission be taken by consensus. In addition, DR-CAFTA (Art.19.2) points out that each Party shall appoint a free trade Agreement coordinator to develop agendas and preparations for Commission meetings as well as to follow up on its decisions.

Administration of Dispute Settlement Proceedings: finally, both DR-CAFTA (Art.19.3) and Chile-U.S. FTA (Art.21.2) state that each Party is responsible in designating an office that shall provide administrative assistance to the panels established under the Dispute Settlement Chapter. DR-CAFTA goes further by indicating that the each Party is responsible for the remuneration and payment of expenses of panelists and experts.