FTAA: What's in It for the South?
Not everyone in the Americas thinks that negotiating an FTAA is desirable. Some argue that the timing of the negotiations is being set by the agenda of the developed countries, particularly the US, and not that of the rest of the region. Others say that negotiating tariff reductions will do little to increase exports. The argument is that non-tariff barriers to trade must be part of the package, or the whole idea is a waste of time. These are just some of the opinions coming from the South. Interestingly, a number of these ideas are coming from Brazil, the hemisphere's most populous country after the US, and clearly a leader in the region. Presidential elections in Brazil took place in the fall of 2002 just prior to an FTAA Ministerial in Quito. In the lead up to the election, the FTAA positions of the opposition candidates, including the eventual winner, were much more protectionist than that of the outgoing government. If the protectionism carries through to official government policy, then the FTAA process will be much more difficult. However, this might just have been electoral talk. This paper will attempt to sort out truth from rhetoric.
Volume (Year): 03 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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