Bilateral trade has more than doubled since the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into force in 2004, with two-way goods trade totaling $17.9 billion in 2010 and the United States running a surplus of $3.9 billion. The United States is Chile’s second largest goods trading partner overall, and the largest foreign investor in Chile, accounting for 24 percent of foreign direct investment in Chile from 1974-2010, according to the Chilean Foreign Investment Committee.
During 2011, the United States and Chile will eliminate tariffs on 134 products, further promoting trade between our two countries.
The United States and Chile share a vision that promoting innovation is critical to capturing the opportunities of the 21st century economy. In January 2011, the U.S. Department of Commerce organized a visit to Chile of leading venture capital funds, the only mission of its kind to South America. Protecting intellectual property rights is a vital element supporting this innovation agenda, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Government of Chile have a dialogue focused on how Chile is implementing the intellectual property provisions of our Free Trade Agreement. As part of that implementation process, Chile is completing ratification procedures to bring several international intellectual property agreements into force.
In March, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration and the Chilean Export Promotion Bureau (ProChile) signed a memorandum of intent to promote and encourage bilateral trade by exchanging information and coordinating best practices, trade missions, market research, business mentoring, and trade capacity building. (text of memorandum: English, Spanish)
This month the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture reached an agreement to permit the importation of certain cuts of fresh U.S. beef into Chile. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published proposed rules that, if adopted, will permit a “systems approach” to ensure that Chilean figs, pomegranates, and kiwis can enter the United States free of harmful pests.
Also this month, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is facilitating a visit to the United States by representatives of the Chilean private and public sectors to review U.S. technology and experience in water desalinization projects. USTDA will also support a feasibility study grant for the Cochrane-Puerto Montt Airspace and Aerodrome Modernization Plan.
The United States and Chile cooperate closely in a number of regional and global fora. On the global level, we are actively involved in the World Trade Organization, working together to achieve an ambitious and balanced conclusion to the Doha Round negotiations. We are also coordinating efforts in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which Chile joined in 2010 with strong U.S. support. Chile is the first South American nation to join the OECD.
Regionally, along with seven other nations, the United States and Chile are actively engaged in negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 21st century high-standard trade agreement embracing dynamic economies across the Asia Pacific region. Together, we are looking to expand the benefits of free trade to more citizens of the Western Hemisphere through the Partnership to Prosperity. We are also working cooperatively to strengthen and deepen East-West economic integration through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which the United States is hosting in 2011.