U.S. Treasury Chief Confident Of Pan-American Free-Trade Deal

By Agence France-Presse U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow, after a meeting with visiting Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, said June 23 he is confident a deal can be reached by the end of the year on a proposed pan-American free-trade zone. Negotiations on the proposal for a Free Trade Area of the Americas by Jan. 1 have bogged down over agricultural subsidies, with Brazil among those leading demands for their elimination. "I remain very hopeful. I'm an optimist," Snow said. "I do think that progress is being made . . . and we will be able to move forward with some important trade markets opening, in accordance with the timetable that has been set up." Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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