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Joint Statement By Singapore and the United States on the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, 25 May 2001

On May 25, 2001, Singapore and the United States concluded the third round of negotiations on the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA). This session represented the first round of negotiations under President Bush's Administration. In his letter of February 9, 2001 to Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, President Bush affirmed that the conclusion of the FTA would be "another important milestone for the two countries."

Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-At-Large, led the Singapore delegation. Mr. Ralph F. Ives, Assistant US Trade Representative for Asia-Pacific and APEC Affairs, led the US delegation.

The two sides discussed a comprehensive range of issues, including trade in goods, customs and rules of origin, trade in services, financial services, telecommunications, e-commerce, investment, textiles, intellectual property rights, and dispute settlement. During this week's session, further progress was achieved on understanding each other's views and enlarging the areas of their convergence. As a result of this effort, negotiators produced a May 25, 2001 document of consolidated texts. But, with such a complex and important trade relationship, much work remains.

The two sides intend to resume negotiations and are planning for two additional sessions. The next round is scheduled for July 16-20, 2001, and the following round is scheduled for September 17-21, 2001. In addition, the two sides will schedule video-conferences on the full range of issues to ensure progress continues between sessions. Both sides remain committed to attaining a world-class agreement that reinforces their strong commercial and political ties as soon as possible.

The previous two rounds were on December 4 - 21, 2000, and January 10 - 18, 2001 in Washington. Also, US experts visited Singapore on a fact-finding mission during the week of January 8, 2001.

25 May 2001

Source: Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore