When the Bush cabinet announced intentions to revive the moribund Free Trade Area of the Americas at the Fourth Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, the countries of the Southern Common Market closed ranks to prevent it. What followed was a diplomatic melee that reflects not so much divisions within Latin America, as a growing resistance to the current free trade model throughout the developing world.
Most of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean want a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), even in a less ambitious form, as opposed to a handful of nations - albeit an economically powerful minority - that reject the idea.
Indigenous movements are indeed a threat to the free-trade policies Bush is hawking, with ever fewer buyers, across Latin America. Their power comes not from terror but a terror-resistant strain of hope, so sturdy it can take root in the midst of Colombia’s seemingly hopeless civil war.
"We think his policies are totally contrary to what we want for Latin America and are promoting genocide, domination of workers and their communities and the plundering of natural resources," said Argentine labor leader Juan Gonzalez, who is heading a protest "People’s Summit" coinciding with Bush’s visit Thursday through Saturday.
Del uno al cinco de noviembre la ciudad turística de Mar del Plata vivirá acontecimientos y movilizaciones sin precedentes en su historia. Allí, a cuatrocientos kilómetros de Buenos Aires, se darán cita durante esos días la Cumbre de las Américas, la Cumbre de los Pueblos y la Marcha contra Bush. Las cifras son escalofriantes: decenas de miles de funcionarios argentinos para garantizar la seguridad, dos mil norteamericanos al servicio de la integridad del presidente de Estados Unidos y decenas de miles de manifestantes que se concentrarán para expresar su apoyo al presidente venezolano Hugo Chávez y su repudio al norteamericano George W. Bush
China pursues stronger economic ties with Latin American and the Caribbean. But will the new relationship spur development or be a step backward?
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva opens an Arab-Latin American summit today aimed at increasing commerce between the two regions as he seeks to reduce developing nations’ dependence on the U.S. and European Union.
Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar Khan has said Pakistan wanted free trade with the United States, China and Latin states and would soon sign accords with them in this regard.
President Bush’s goal for a free-trade zone encompassing the entire Western Hemisphere faces growing opposition in the United States and abroad.
Some Latino groups, such as the League of United Latin American Citizens, oppose the Central American Free Trade Agreement because they say it will export U.S. jobs and lead to the exploitation of Central American workers and the environment, the Los Angles Times reported.
The Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the United States - AUSFTA - may be all the rage for us, but for Americans (that is, those citizens residing in the American hemisphere as a whole, not just the USA) they have been getting used to all sorts of free trade agreements.
“Negotiating a free-trade agreement with the U.S. is not something one has a right to - it’s a privilege."
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) criticized the US strategy of multiplying bilateral trade agreements before multilateral negotiations collapsed.
The difference between what Bush officials say to Congress and the pap they feed foreign audiences makes interesting reading for anyone trying to figure out US government rhetoric on Latin America.
While the US military unleashed laser-guided weapons of mass destruction on the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush Administration’s aggressive international trade and investment agenda has developed some “smart bombs” of its own.
Amid the delay in DDA [Doha Development Agenda] negotiations, in 2003 FTA movement by major nations, in particular was very brisk. As for newly concluded FTAs in 2003, Asia let the world with seven agreements, followed by America region with six. Meanwhile, FTAs were under negotiation in America (17), Asia (12), Europe (12) and Oceania (4).