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letters We'll make life difficult for Americans unless . . .

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The Architects' Journal welcomes your letters, which should preferably be typed double-spaced. Please address them to the editor at 151 Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4GB, fax them on 0207 505 6701, or e-mail them to Victorian@ construct.emap.co.uk to arriv

As Paul Hyett referred to me in his article on reciprocity with the Americans, the facts are as follows: at the uia Practice Commission meeting at American Institute of Architects (aia) in Washington in December last year, I asked who was responsible for encouraging the us government to remove architectural services from the Transatlantic Economic Partnership (tep). aia's Jim Scheeler stated that it was both aia and ncarb and it was on the grounds that they had inadequate resources to enable their involvement in negotiations within the set timetable, and this was later confirmed by the lady president of ncarb to me and others.

This was confirmed once again this month by Jim Scheeler in Prague in front of myself, Paul Hyett and other uia practice commission members, and I offered to intervene with the European Commission on the timetable.

If the riba had been in the same position as aia, we would not have begged resources from the state department, which told aia and ncarb that they had no resources to give them. We would have resourced the negotiations ourselves, as believers in an open market. Can you blame us eu architects for believing that the us may be just a bit protectionist?

Paul Hyett is fundamentally correct. Unless and until we have a 'level playing field' with the usa and [Americans] insist that their government puts architectural services back into the tep, we will try to make life as difficult as possible for them to use the aia suffix when practising in the uk, if they are not registered here. In the meantime, we are encouraging the European Commission to conclude trade agreements with the usa's two trade partners, Canada and Mexico, with architectural services included.

Unless architectural services are included in such a package of services within the tep - which would have the status of a treaty and become federal law - we are unlikely ever to get an acceptable agreement with the usa.

We want the eu Architects' Directive to be used together with the uia Accord on International Practice Standards as the model for any such agreement.

John A Wright,

RIBA vice-president

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