The United States and Chile share a strong commitment to expanding economic growth and job creation through integration into global markets. Our bilateral Free Trade Agreement and joint work to form the Trans-Pacific Partnership are recent examples of efforts to strengthen trade and investment ties bilaterally and to expand economic links between the Americas and growing markets of the Pacific Rim. In addition, Chile is a partner in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas initiative.
A Key FTA Partner
Since the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into force in 2004, bilateral merchandise trade has grown by 340 percent. While U.S. exports to the world increased 113 percent between 2003 and 2012, U.S. exports to Chile increased by nearly 600 percent ($16.2 billion), growing from $2.7 billion in 2003 to $18.9 billion in 2012. Chile’s exporters also saw increases between 2003 and 2012; U.S. imports from Chile grew from $3.7 billion in 2003 to $9.4 billion in 2012, an increase of 153 percent.
The United States is Chile’s second largest export market and primary supplier of imports, and Chile has risen from the 35th largest market for U.S. exports in 2003 to the 19th largest market in 2012. Additionally, between 2003 and 2011, U.S. exports of private commercial services to Chile grew 193 percent and U.S. imports of Chilean private commercial services grew by 98 percent.
U.S. small and medium–sized Enterprises (SMEs) are an important part of the U.S.-Chile trade relationship. As of 2011, 13,121 SMEs exported to Chile, representing 88 percent of all U.S. companies exporting to the Chilean market. These SMEs exported $5.7 billion in merchandise to Chile in 2011.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership
The United States and Chile, together with nine other nations, are actively engaged in the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a high-standard trade agreement that will address the issues that U.S. and Chilean businesses and workers are facing in the 21st century.
The TPP is one of the highest trade priorities of President Obama’s second term, and is central to the U.S.-Chile partnership. After 17 rounds (the most recent held in Lima, Peru) the 11 member countries have made significant progress and the negotiations are on an accelerated track toward concluding in the 2013 timeframe envisioned by President Obama, President Piñera and the leaders of the ten other TPP member countries. The next round of negotiations is set for July 15-25, 2013.
Collaboration in Energy Creating Jobs and Economic Growth
The United States and Chile are working together to promote lower carbon economic growth, expand cooperation on clean energy, and regional electrical interconnection throughout the Andean region through two Summit of the Americas initiatives, the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas and Connecting the Americas 2022.
Presidents Obama and Piñera launched the U.S.-Chile Energy Business Council in Santiago in March 2011. Key objectives of the U.S. Chile Energy Business Council include clean energy development, identification of business and investment opportunities, energy infrastructure, and natural disaster preparedness.
As the world’s leading copper producer and a country with a rapidly growing economy, Chile must meet an estimated 6-7% annual growth of energy demand between now and 2020. In March 2012, the Chilean Government announced its National Energy Strategy: 2012-2030, a robust plan to meet rising energy demand and promote the deployment of cost-effective, sustainable energy technologies. The plan reaffirmed the Government’s goal to obtain 10% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2024 and laid out six key pillars of energy policy. In April 2013, Assistant Secretary of Commerce Nicole Lamb-Hale led 16 renewable energy and energy efficiency companies on a trade mission to Chile. The mission deepened Chilean knowledge of U.S. partnership opportunities in the sector, shared best practices, and discussed strategies to reduce barriers to market entry.
The United States is committed to working with Chile to meet its needs for access to energy, enhance the role of renewables, and facilitate continued economic growth.