THE United States ambassador to Spain, Eduardo Aguirre, is travelling to Majorca today to meet with key political and business figures in the Balearics. He is keen to promote the rights of U.S. companies competing for trade in Spain and argues they should be viewed in the same light as their local counterparts. The ambassador said that “some firms in the United States have expressed their concerns about this matter.” Speaking yesterday in Barcelona at a conference organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Spain, Aguirre said he would like to see “above-board competition” and that those who won bids which go out to tender should do so “according to their merits.” He added that although there had traditionally been only a small investment by Spain in the United States, things were now changing. He quoted as an example a railway project which is underway in Texas: “the biggest infrastructure programme since the days of Eisenhower.” The ambassador was keen to highlight his “total commitment to strengthening commercial links between the United States and Spain.” He said that challenges to surmount included restrictive intellectual property rights, curbs on genetic engineering and the rigid nature of Spanish labour practices.

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