These agreements include the Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The ministers of the relevant nations in charge of trade will continue the SAA negotiations in accordance with the Santiago Summits Action Plan and the San Jos Ministerial Declaration. The Santiago Action Plan also states that ministers must make concrete progress in the negotiations by the year 2000 and agree on specific measures to facilitate business, which should be adopted before the end of the century. In addition, the negotiation process must be transparent and take into account economic differences between Member States. This will allow for the full participation of small economies. These binding international agreements severely limit the policy options of future governments and help secure existing economic reforms, which may have been imposed by the IMF, the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank or pursued on their own initiative by national governments. Like other free trade and investment agreements, they strive to lift all trade restrictions. On July 8 and 9, the OAS Trade Unit, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica (COMEX), the Inter-American Development Institute for the Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean (INTAL), organized a conference entitled “World Trade in Services and the Americas”. The conference was held in San Jos, Costa Rica, and brought together government negotiators from the Western Hemisphere responsible for services negotiations, private sector leaders from the services sector, and representatives of national service coalitions and academics. The objective of the conference was to examine critical issues for the WTO Millennium Negotiations; analyse the approach taken by the various subregional agreements in the hemisphere to the liberalization of services; and explore service discussions at the FTAA level….

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