20 de Febrero de 2018
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Colección: Trends for a common future
Autor: Sidney Weintraub
Título: Technical Cooperation Needs for Hemispheric trade Negotiations

INTRODUCTION

Since its creation, the Organization of American States has been dedicated to promoting prosperity in the Western Hemisphere. This tradition continues in the new era of supporting economic development through the creation of a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by the year 2005 among our democratic nations. The rapid pace of change in the global marketplace — with new technologies emerging each day, new patterns of  trade, and new international rules of the trading system  — generates a strong demand for knowledge and skills in managing international relations. The technical ‘know how’ for (1) determining modern trade negotiation positions which are well-articulated with national interests, (2) successfully negotiating with trading partners and (3)implementing far-reaching international trade obligations is difficult to develop in any nation and is even more difficult in a nation of scarce resources.

This modern reality has generated a strong demand for technical assistance from developing countries worldwide as they participate more actively in international, regional and bilateral trade negotiations. The upcoming launch of a new round of negotiations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the ongoing challenges of implementing legal and regulatory obligations from the previous round of WTO negotiations have raised concerns among developing countries and prompted discussions in many forums on the need for technical assistance targeted to addressing the challenges of  participating in the international trading system.

The OAS Trade Unit, in its support role for the FTAA negotiations, recognized this need to stimulate and focus trade-related technical assistance. This recognized need resonated with a broader initiative of the OAS to change its approach to technical assistance from the traditional donor role to a partner in development in conjunction with its member states.  As part of this broader initiative the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) offered the opportunity to contract a study, by a recognized specialist in the trade field, to provide guidance in designing an approach to meeting the cooperation needs in the area of trade policy. Sidney Weintraub, of the influential Washington, DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, agreed to prepare this study.  His analysis and insights in this study “Technical Cooperation Needs for Hemispheric Trade Negotiations” will help to guide the work of the OAS in trade-related technical assistance. It is also offered here as a resource for others addressing the challenge of seeking or providing technical assistance to facilitate successful trade negotiations and implementation of international trade obligations.

The OAS hopes that this study will stimulate dialogue and assist in the creation of a common agenda in the hemisphere to promote prosperity within our community of nations.

José Manuel Salazar
Chief Trade Advisor