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FTAA and its Effects on Latin America - Essay Example

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FTAA and its Effects on Latin America

A growing world economy will also enhance our domestic prosperity. (Hakim )Free trade and increased economic integration are key factors for raising standards of living, improving the working conditions of people in the Americas and better protecting the environment." This paper seeks to discuss the negative effect that the FTAA would have on Latin American countries.
Although the FTAA agreement was meant to be in force by the 1st January 2005 by the time senior American and Brazilian officials met in Switzerland to try to breathe fresh life into the deal the talks had been stalled for more than a year and the deadline had already been missed.The United States and Brazil are co-chairs of the FTAA negotiations but have had vastly different views of what the final agreement should look like.
There has been very little consensus among the participating countries about either the timing or the scope of the FTAA. The United States, along with 12 other nations (those with which the United States either already has or is negotiating bilateral trade deals), is pushing for the completion of an "ambitious" and far-reaching accord on schedule for implementation by 2005. The countries of the Mercosur, the South American common market led by Brazil and Argentina, on the other hand, are advocating a "possible" FTAA, with drastically scaled-back goals. (FTAA)Venezuela and many Caribbean countries have also expressed misgivings about the timing of the negotiations and their scope. (Hakim) For the time being the final workable form of the FTAA remains to be thrashed out at the negotiating table.
Anticipated Effects of the FTAA:

Will further the effects that NAFTA had on American jobs. Companies are lured progressively south in search of cheaper wages. Companies who have not moved abroad are closing plants because they cannot compete with cheaper imports.
Companies are able to discourage unionising by threatning to close operations and move factories elsewhere where wages are lower and regulations are broken.
Visiting corporations can claim that local environmental laws are restricting their profits. Therefore corporations set the agenda rather than citizens.
Governments are restricted from favouring small local suppliers for purchasing goods. Small farmers are denied subsidies and price controls therefore making it impossible to compete against corporations.
Vital services such as education, health care, environmental services, energy, prisons would be threatened with privatisation. This means that private companies could cut corners and dodge laws to ensure efficiency and maximised profits.
The area of intellectual property rights is an enormous one and is potentially a legal minefield. It would allow the likes of pharmaceutical giants to patent traditional medicines and recipes that have sustained generations of local communities and control the production and sale of them. For instance there is currently a dispute over the legal rights to produce Basmati Rice. If the patent is seized and registered nobody can produce Basmati Rice without the say so of the patent holder.
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The Free Trade Area of the Americas is an accord between leaders of 34 countries of the Western Hemisphere, which was officially launched in December, 1994 at the Summit of the Americas. Participating countries resolved to "begin immediately to construct the (FTAA), in which barriers to trade and investment will be progressively eliminated." The FTAA was concieved as a progressive expansion of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)…
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FTAA and its Effects on Latin America essay example
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