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Uruguay to negotiate trade with US

Prensa Latina, Cuba

Uruguay to Negotiate Trade with US

21 August 2006

Montevideo, Aug 21 (Prensa Latina) Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez said after a meeting with opposition leaders on Monday that his country will negotiate a trade agreement with the United States "as far as possible".

Speaking to reporters, Tabare said that he will meet again with those representatives in October, after delivering a document on the steps his government has taken in international trade.

Asked about Uruguay’s signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States, the president said that trade relations with Washington "will go as far as possible".

In that regard, he said that he will call up his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, to talk about the market enlargement and trade agreements between Uruguay and countries outside the South Common Market (MERCOSUR).

The possible signing of a FTAA with the White House has been rejected by the Political Board of Frente Amplio (FA), as well as by the most important parties and movements of that political force, which took power on March 1, 2005.

That eventual treaty was also rejected by Uruguayan Foreign Minister Reinaldo Gargano, who said that such an accord would endanger the MERCOSUR agreements and other issues, including patents.

Other political forces that have condemned a FTA with the US are the Workers’ Confederation PIT-CNT and the Federation of University Students (FEUU).