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Europe faces stalemate on US recipricocity agreements

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European and us regulators are locked in a stalemate over whether architects from both can trade in each other's markets, according to riba vice-president John Wright.

Wright last week led a uk delegation to the European Commission's offices in Brussels to renew pressure on officials to broker a deal which would allow uk architects to trade in the us, but returned empty handed.

'It seems the us doesn't understand and the commission simply cannot deliver,' Wright told riba council on his return. 'The parties have to get their act together.'

Under current rules uk architects cannot work in the us unless they have been schooled there and can prove us practice experience. Meanwhile us architects can trade freely in the uk. This arrangement can mean lost profits for uk architects which are forced to form joint ventures with us practices and so share fees if they are commissioned for us buildings or if they wish to operate there.

The uk has delegated responsibility to Brussels on this issue so that the European Union acts as a single block in negotiation with the States. But the American Institute of Architects says it cannot produce a single reciprocity arrangement for the entire country because, as a federal nation, no legislation can be binding on all of its member states.

Wright ruled out the possibility of a series of deals between the eu and individual states saying: 'If the aia can't deliver the whole of the States to Europe then there's no deal.'

Meanwhile, riba vice-president and Architects' Registration Board member Joyce Deans told the riba council last week that the eu is moving closer to forming reciprocity agreements with both Canada and Mexico and the deals are under consideration by the arb.

riba Council last week welcomed an approach from the Australian Registration Board (aaca) to establish a reciprocity arrangement with the uk and members said the deal could create a model for further agreements.

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