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Joint Statement by the Leaders of Canada, Chile, Mexico, and the United States

December 11, 1994

The Americas have been a flourishing of trade, investment and growth built on the strength of our economies. All of our countries have contributed to this success and are determined to ensure that it continues and is expanded through concrete action. The Summit of the Americas is, in fact, indicative of the hemisphere's commitment to take concrete action to achieve higher standards of living. We seek in this hemisphere to expand market opportunities through equitable rules and to eliminate barriers to trade and investment through agreed disciplines at high levels. This approach coupled with policies that address the conditions of labor and protection of the environment will be pillars of a new partnership in the Americas.

Today we are announcing our decision to begin the process by which Chile will accede to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). To this end, trade officials from the NAFTA partners have been directed to undertake the preparations necessary to begin formal negotiations, including focusing on relevant technical procedures and institutional issues. In light of the high priority that we place on this intensive preparatory phase, we have agreed that the first preparatory meeting shall occur before the end of December 1994, and that meetings with Chile will follow early next year. We have also instructed our Ministers responsible for trade to meet and review the work of the officials by no later than May 31, 1995 and to commence full accession negotiations expeditiously thereafter.

In launching this effort, we reaffirm that increased trade, integration and investment on the basis of agreed rules are vital to achieving sustainable growth and the creation of high paying employment opportunities in each country. We believe this action, combined with the other actions relevant to this Summit, is a clear indication of the determination we have to achieve a prosperous Americas.

William J. Clinton, Joint Statement by the Leaders of Canada, Chile, Mexico, and the United States Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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