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FTAA

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


Anti-US protests flare at summit
Anti-American demonstrators torched storefronts and battled police Friday in this Atlantic resort following a large, peaceful protest, spearheaded by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, over President Bush’s plans to revive a free trade accord at a regional summit.
Anti-Bush rally closes Peoples Summit
The 3rd Peoples’ Summit is closing Thursday its three marathonic days of searching for an alternative model to neoliberalism with a hemispheric demonstration repudiating US President George W Bush.
Clash of visions for Latin America
It’s Bush vs. Chavez as 33 heads of state meet Friday for Summit of the Americas.
Does the FTAA have a future?
The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) will become a reality only if the United States allows increased market access for Brazilian agriculture and competitive manufactures and if Brazil reciprocates by opening its market to foreign competition in goods and services.
Bush says Latam free-trade idea stalled for now
"The FTAA has stalled, I agree," Bush said on Tuesday. "On the other hand, at this point in time, the Doha round really trumps the FTAA as a priority, because the Doha round not only involves our neighborhood, it involves the whole world."
The FTAA and its babies
From November 4-5th, 2005, the heads of state of 34 countries in the Americas will meet in Mar del Plata, Argentina, to push the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) forward. One big issue at the helm this year are the bilaterals - otherwise known as the FTAA’s babies - which establish free trade agreements on smaller scales.
Business groups lobby to resurrect FTAA
Dozens of business groups from throughout the Americas are urging regional governments to adopt economic and trade reforms to give a boost to upcoming World Trade Organisation talks and a stalled regional free trade agreement.
FTAA talks divide Latin American countries
The talks on a future Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) have divided Latin American states into different interest groups prior to the 4th Summit of the Americas to be held in Argentina on Nov. 4-5.
Chavez: Bush beats dead horse with FTAA
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez has accused his US counterpart George W Bush of trying to restore the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which is a dead project, he asserted.
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