Strengthening a special relationship

WINE is among Chile’s top exports to the United States

THE signing of the U.S.-Chile free trade agreement is a clear demonstration of the importance the two nations attach to their strong and ongoing alliance.

With its impressive record of economic growth, Chile is regarded by the United States as a model for other nations, an example of what can be achieved through market-oriented economic reform, good governance, and sound fiscal policies.

Relations warmed with the rebirth of democracy in Chile in 1990. When U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher visited Chile in 1996, he noted, “Chile’s reforms have created one of the most open and successful economies in the world.”

The relationship was recently described by the U.S. State Department as “better now than at any other time in history.”

The United States is Chile’s largest trading partner and its biggest foreign investor. The two countries frequently consult each other on matters of mutual concern, and five bilateral commissions cover matters of defense, agriculture, trade, investment, and bilateral issues.

The new trade deal is regarded as an important step toward achieving the U.S. goal of a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), stretching from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, by the year 2005. Washington sees Chile as paving the way for other more cautious nations, such as Argentina and Brazil.

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