What is the FTAA & NAFTA?
& Canada sign
Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, Mexico
calling NAFTA a "death sentence" for
Mexico's indigenous people
disrupted in Seattle
WTO meets in Cancun
FTAA meets in Miami
The North American Free Trade Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S.,
Mexico & Canada gives companies within these countries
preferential access to each other's markets. The agreement
includes phasing out "tariffs" or taxes and a
reduction of "non-tariff barriers" within 5 to
15 years. Investment rules also became "liberalized"
meaning companies from one NAFTA country had more "rights"
to invest in another NAFTA country than before. One impact
of NAFTA was initially felt when companies from the U.S.
and Canada closed their factory doors and moved production
to Mexico in search of cheaper labor costs. This created
a flux of assembly factories or maquilas along the
US/Mexico border, inundating an already fragile infrastructure
with heavy pollution and low-wage work. Today these workers
have again been displaced as companies follow yet more opportunities
to move in search of cheaper labor costs created by global
The Free Trade Agreement of the Americas
The Free Trade Agreement of the Americas is an extension
of NAFTA to all the countries in the Western Hemisphere
except Cuba. This agreement is currently in negotiations.
The U.S. has the goal of reaching agreement by 2005, despite
resistance from countries in the Caribbean and South America
who argue that they are not yet ready for the major instability
that such an agreement will create for their peoples.
The World Trade Organization (WTO)
The World Trade Organization is the global organizational
body created to oversee and arbitrate international trade
policy. This organization, by no means an unbiased body,
is the result of years of planning through the General Agreement
on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), a series of negotiations that
sought to make trade and foreign direct investment easier
for corporations by limiting the regulatory powers of national,
state and local governments.
A project of the DataCenter's