The negotiations’ conclusion of the Trade Facilitation Agreement at the Bali 9th Ministerial Conference, in December 2013, was an important milestone that will benefit all WTO members, including the Western Hemisphere. The Trade Facilitation Agreement sets the path to thoroughly reform global customs practices, substantially reduce the costs and time associated with goods crossing borders, including those in transit, promote cooperation and automated border procedures, and improve trade and business transparency and predictability. With the growing prevalence of global and regional supply chains, facilitating effective and predictable trade is essential to ensure that they work in every country, especially in developing countries. For example, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates that full implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement can reduce trade costs by up to 14.1 percent for low-income countries, 15.1 percent for lower middle-income countries, and 12.9 percent for upper middle-income countries.
“We – the countries that jointly issued this statement – give great importance to the Trade Facilitation Agreement and consider its entry into force essential to enhance the competitiveness of the America region in the global market. For the Summit of the Americas 2015, held in Panama City, Panama, and to support the Summit topic of "Prosperity with Equity", we announced our intention to notify the WTO of our acceptance of the Trade Facilitation Agreement as soon as possible, ideally before the WTO’s 10th Ministerial Conference to be held in December 2015, as part of our national procedures, and urge other countries, especially in the Hemisphere, to do the same as soon as possible so that the Trade Facilitation Agreement enters into force. It early acceptance by countries of the Hemisphere indicate their commitment and leadership towards facilitating trade.”