What's New?
 - Sitemap - Calendar
Trade Agreements - FTAA Process - Trade Issues 

español - français - português

TPD > FTAA > Canada Proposals 2000 > Positions

Canada's Proposals for the FTAA Agreement 
FTAA Negotiating Groups - Canadian Written Submissions 




At the 5th Trade Ministerial Meeting in Toronto, Canada, November 3-4, 1999, Ministers instructed the TNC "to begin discussions of the overall architecture of an FTAA agreement, e.g., general and/or institutional aspects of the Agreement", and include in its report to Ministers a summary of that discussion for their consideration. In view of these instructions, the delegation of Canada submits the following preambular language, along with a short introductory note, for consideration by the TNC. 

The Preamble is part of the context of a treaty for the purposes of its interpretation and does not establish substantive obligations. It provides an opportunity to set out the context and underlying considerations that motivated our countries to seek to establish an FTAA. It also provides an opportunity to reaffirm the core values that our Governments share and that have guided the negotiations, and to which we moreover remain committed for the implementation of the agreement.

The context, considerations and core values for the FTAA negotiations can be derived largely, but not exclusively, from the Declarations and Plans of Action of the first two Summits of the Americas, as well as the San Jose Ministerial Declaration, in accordance with which Trade Ministers were instructed to begin negotiations in April 1998. The following highlights mandates endorsed by Leaders at the Miami and Santiago Summits with respect to the FTAA process which have been included in the draft text below. Additional statements have also been included for TNC consideration. 

Overall, the Summit process sets out a comprehensive agenda to advance prosperity, strengthen democratic values and institutions, enhance security and promote social development in the Hemisphere. In committing themselves to the establishment of an FTAA by 2005, Leaders recognized that free trade and increased economic integration are key factors for raising standards of living, improving the working conditions of the people of the Americas and better protecting the environment. Specifically, they noted that the elimination of impediments to market access for goods and services among our countries will foster collective economic growth.

In recognizing that investment is the main engine for growth, Leaders further committed themselves to creating strengthened mechanisms that promote and protect the flow of productive investment in the Hemisphere.

Leaders acknowledged moreover the need to take into account the differences in the levels of development and size of the economies in the Americas in order to create opportunities for the full participation of all FTAA countries, including the smaller economies, and affirmed their commitment to conclude an FTAA that is WTO-consistent. 

As indicated above, Leaders directed Ministers to begin negotiations in accordance with the San Jose Ministerial Declaration, which sets out the General Principles and Objectives for the negotiations. These objectives include striving to make trade liberalization and environmental policies mutually supportive, as well as further securing the observance and promotion of worker rights. 


"The 34 Governments of the countries participating in the FTAA, being committed to: 
ADVANCING economic prosperity, strengthening democratic values and institutions, and protecting fundamental human rights and the security of persons and promoting social development throughout the Hemisphere consistent with the underlying principles and overall objectives of the Summit of the Americas process; 

STRENGTHENING the close economic relations and cooperation that bind their countries together;

PROMOTING higher standards of living and improving working conditions of the peoples of the Americas through the creation of new and higher-paying employment opportunities, including through increased economic integration and free trade; 

RECOGNIZING the broad differences in the levels of development and size of the economies in the Hemisphere and the resulting need to create opportunities for the full participation of all countries in the construction and benefits of the FTAA; 

RECOGNIZING that countries must maintain the ability to preserve, develop and implement their cultural policies for the purpose of strengthening cultural diversity, given 
the essential role that cultural goods and services play in the identity and diversity of society and the lives of individuals;

BETTER PROTECTING the environment and promoting sustainable development by adopting trade and environmental policies that are mutually supportive;

SECURING FURTHER, in accordance with their respective laws and regulations, the observance and promotion of worker rights, consistent with their commitment to the observance of internationally recognized core labour standards and acknowledging that the International Labour Organization is the competent body to set and deal with those core labour standards; 

BUILDING on their respective rights and obligations under the World Trade Organization Agreements and other multilateral, regional and subregional instruments of integration and cooperation;


ENHANCING market access for trade in goods and services;

ESTABLISHING a fair and predictable framework for promoting and protecting investment;

PROMOTING an environment for undistorted competition in trade in goods and services, including in the area of government procurement; 

FOSTERING adequate intellectual property protection; 

PRESERVING their flexibility to safeguard the public welfare;

REMOVING to the extent possible, consistent with Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994, other restrictive regulations of commerce;

ACKNOWLEDGING the importance of regulatory reform to advancing trade liberalization, increasing market openness and enhancing competition within the Hemisphere; 

CREATING effective procedures for the interpretation and application of this Agreement, for its joint administration and for the resolution of disputes; and

UNDERTAKING the preceding in a manner consistent with international human rights norms and principles;

HAVE AGREED as follows:

Source: Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade