WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Friday that officials from the United States and Paraguay met this week in Washington to discuss ways to deepen trade relations between the two countries under a trade and investment framework agreement that entered into force in 2021.
The US Trade Representative’s office said the first meeting of the Trade and Investment Council established under the framework addressed issues including anti-corruption, agricultural trade and the digital economy.
“They emphasized the importance of bilateral relations, including working together to deepen engagement in trade and promote pandemic recovery,” the US Trade Representative’s office said in a statement.
She said that technical work has been planned over the next year on several key issues, and the two sides will meet again in Asuncion in 2023.
The two countries discussed the importance of trade facilitation and recommitted to reviewing customs duties and procedures with the aim of reducing compliance time and cost for traders and operators. They also agreed on the importance of transparency and anti-corruption measures.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) said Paraguay is considering inviting Washington to join the Pan-American Alliance for Business Ethics in the medical technology sector.
She added that Paraguay also provided an update on planned changes to its procurement law to enhance transparency and encourage greater participation in its procurement system.
The two countries agreed on a roadmap for action to address issues related to the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in Paraguay.
In the area of agricultural trade, they discussed ongoing efforts to allow the import of raw Paraguayan beef products into the United States, with a focus on completing the necessary processes as soon as possible in 2023.
The countries also explored possible avenues for expanding agricultural trade, including through the import of non-traditional products from Paraguay.