WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) unveiled the United States Uruguay Economic Partnership Act – the first bill exclusively focused on strengthening the partnership between the United States and Uruguay. This groundbreaking bipartisan legislation makes Uruguay eligible for trade preferences under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act and for trade and investment related visas. It also requires the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State to provide an assessment on Uruguay’s eligibility to be included in the Visa Waiver Program.
“I am proud to introduce legislation today to deepen the partnership between the United States and Uruguay, a nation that stands out as a global leader for its commitment to democracy and the rule of law,” said Chairman Menendez. “Uruguay’s growing technology and innovation sector and advanced levels of inclusive economic growth make it an obvious partner for expanding commercial and investment ties between our two countries. By including Uruguay in existing trade preference programs and increasing visa eligibility for Uruguayan citizens, this new legislation strengthens U.S. competitiveness in the Americas and sets the stage for a new era of economic cooperation between our nations.”
“I was honored to meet with Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou in Montevideo in April and to see firsthand how Uruguay is one of our country’s important economic, tech, and security partners in the Western Hemisphere,” said Senator Hagerty. “I’m pleased to join Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Menendez and Senator Kaine in introducing this bipartisan legislation aimed at deepening U.S.-Uruguay economic relations and people-to-people ties and further strengthening our vital and strategic bilateral partnership.”
“Earlier this year, I met with officials in Uruguay to discuss ways we can work together to address collective challenges in the Western Hemisphere, boost our economies, and strengthen the U.S.-Uruguay partnership,” said Senator Kaine. “Today, I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan bill to help us increase trade and expand economic relations with Uruguay.”
Senators Menendez, Hagerty, and Kaine visited Uruguay in April 2023.
This legislation would:
• Reduce U.S. tariffs on certain Uruguayan exports to the United States
• Make Uruguay eligible for E1 and E2 visas for persons involved in trade and investment between the two countries
• Require the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State to report to Congress on Uruguay’s eligibility to be included in the Visa Waiver Program
• Strengthens U.S. competitiveness and economic engagement in South America.
Find a copy of the bill text HERE.