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Uruguayan Congress Passes Investment Treaty with United States

Investment agreement intended to enhance bilateral ties, trade, investment

Posted: December 28, 2005

Washington -- The Uruguayan government has ratified a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with the United States that is intended to enhance bilateral relations as well as trade and investment ties, according to the U.S. State Department.

Upon assuming office earlier in 2005, Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez asked the United States to renegotiate technical points in the BIT signed by the United States and Uruguay in 2004.

The new U.S.-Uruguayan BIT was signed November 4 during the Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, Argentina, passed by the Uruguayan Senate December 21 and ratified by the lower house of the Uruguayan Congress early December 28 by a vote of 84-0. (See related article.)

In a December 28 interview with the Washington File, a State Department official hailed ratification of the BIT.

“The ratification of the Bilateral Investment Treaty by Uruguay is an important step forward in our bilateral relations,” the official said. “It will further strengthen our already excellent trade and investment relationship.”

The BIT still requires approval by the U.S. Senate. Once it enters into force, it should yield important benefits for both countries, the State Department official said.

“We expect that it will produce new business opportunities and employment, increasing the well-being of citizens in both countries,” the official said.

Beyond the BIT’s economic benefits, the U.S. official said the treaty also reflects the ability of the governments of the United States and Uruguay to work together.

The United States is Uruguay’s largest trading partner, and U.S. foreign direct investment in Uruguay was $533 million in 2004.

For additional information on U.S policy, see Regional Trade.

Scott Miller
Washington File Staff Writer

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