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TPD > FTAA > United States Negotiating Positions - Summary > Position

Summary of the United States Negotiating Positions in the FTAA 



Public Summary of U.S. Position

Competition Law: The United States believes that each FTAA country should have a competition agency at the national or sub-regional level responsible for enforcement of antitrust laws, with adequate powers and enforcement autonomy. The purpose of antitrust laws should be to promote economic efficiency and consumer welfare; the United States does not believe that it is appropriate to specify detailed provisions on the substantive coverage of antitrust laws or on how agencies should operate. Competition agencies should be subject to independent domestic judicial review. 

The principles of transparency, due process and non-discrimination are important to antitrust enforcement and its role in the FTAA. However, further discussion and mutual understanding are needed to determine whether there is a need for provisions in the competition chapter of the FTAA Agreement on these matters, or whether, for example, they might be addressed in general provisions of the FTAA Agreement.

Mechanisms to Cooperate and Exchange Information; Technical Assistance and Information Dissemination: In the view of the United States, cooperation among the FTAA countries is important to further effective competition law and policy development. Similarly, it is in FTAA countries' interest to work together in the provision of technical assistance on competition policy and law enforcement.

Official Monopolies and State Enterprises: The United States supports having rules on official monopolies and state enterprises in the FTAA. Such rules, like those in the NAFTA, would ensure that when the state participates in commercial activity, its FTAA trading partners are not subject to discrimination.

Regulation: The United States is reflecting on whether obligations concerning domestic regulation and its effect on competition could be appropriate in the competition chapter of the FTAA Agreement. We will consult closely with the U.S. private sector before making decisions on this matter. 

Institutional Provisions: The United States believes that FTAA countries should agree to consult with each other on matters arising under the competition chapter. The United States also supports the creation of a competition policy review mechanism. This would be a forum within the FTAA for meaningful peer review of an FTAA country's overall performance in conforming to the competition chapter, and provide an organized means for discussing competition issues of interest along the lines of the WTO Trade Policy Review Mechanism.

Source: United States Trade Representative