Foreign Policy in Focus
Free Trade Area of the Americas
By Karen Hansen-Kuhn, The Development GAP
· President Bush seeks to fulfill his father's dream of creating a free Trade
Zone of the Americas and the timetable may be accelerated to complete negotiations
· The economic crisis in Mexico and sustained citizen's protests have dampened
enthusiasm among the general public, but not among major corporations in the United
States, for the extension of Free Trade agreements throughout the hemisphere.
· Nine negotiating groups have been working to complete a draft agreement
to implement the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)
· The US government is promoting an approach to the FTAA based in large part
on the NAFTA, despite the failure of that accord to raise living standards.
· Proposals for an "investor-state" clause in the FTAA would give
investors the power to challenge national and local laws
· The USTR id promoting a significant expansion of trade in services, leading
potentially to the privatization of such public services as health and education
· Trade negotiations should be opened up to include a broader representation
· Labor, environmental, and other relevant social issues should be included
in the negotiation of trade agreements
· Investment policy should balance investor's needs for clear rules with the
regulating needs of each country's development strategy .