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Sometimes dubbed “NAFTA on steroids“, the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) was an attempt to expand NAFTA to 34 countries in the Western Hemisphere (it excluded Cuba).

From Canada to Argentina, the FTAA was strongly opposed by social movements, trade unions, NGOs and communities mobilizing against the neoliberal policies it promoted.
Governments including Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela were increasingly critical of the US agenda at the FTAA negotiations.

Finally, at the Third Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata (Argentina) in early November 2005, the FTAA was left for dead after the United States failed to overcome the staunch opposition of Venezuela and the Mercosur countries.

Since then, the FTAA agenda has remained stalled, although there was a tentative attempt in September 2008 to relaunch the initiative, retitled “Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas,” with the support of several Latin American governments.

The defeat of the FTAA was one impetus for the United States to step up its push for a Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and other far-reaching bilateral free trade and investment treaties with countries of the region.

last update: May 2012

Photo: CC BY 2.0

Cumbre de las Américas, Cumbre de los Pueblos y Marcha contra Bush
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
An eye for an eye? Disregarding fairness, disconnecting from the FTAA
Latin American countries have rightly learned to be apprehensive over the domination of the United States, and it is this reluctance that is behind their slowdown over the FTAA.
The FTAA: A recipe for economic disaster?
As indicated by CAFTA’s ratification, instead of pushing for the enactment of the FTAA, the Bush administration has re-evaluated its strategy, now attempting to build up momentum by establishing separate free trade agreements with the different regions in the hemisphere through a "divide-and-conquer" strategy.
Fidel’s Presence at the Inauguration of the Fourth Summit of the Battle Against the FTAAs
The Fourth Summit on the Battle against the FTAAs was launched in the presence of the Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro in Palacio de las Convenciones.
The Fourth Hemispheric Summit against the FTAA launches today.
The current situation of the FTAAs negotiating process and the campaign of the people’s struggle against this annexation plan devised by the US Government will be analysed from today in the Fourth Hemispheric Summit of the Battle Against FTAAs.
Rice calls on Brazil to ’reenergize’ free trade talks
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on Brazil to "reenergize" talks with the US on the proposed Free Trade Agreement of the Americas.
Brazil says no to US plan for hemispheric free trade
Clinching a deal for a 34-country free-trade zone that would stretch from Alaska to Argentina is "off the agenda" for Brazil, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Wednesday.
FTAA: Missed deadline prompts efforts to restart stalled hemispheric trade negotiations
The US Government Accounting Office was asked to analyze (1) progress made in FTAA negotiations since GAO’s last (April 2003) report (2) factors that have been influencing the FTAA’s progress; and (3) future prospects for the FTAA.
FTAA dead but not quite buried, say activists
Activists and academics are singing the requiem for the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), a US-driven initiative that they say will soon be buried. However, the governments that have participated in the talks are not yet talking about failure.
What’s happening with the FTAA negotiations?
By becoming an associate member of Mercosur, Cuba, at least indirectly, may have some influence in how the FTAA is finally formulated.