Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Professional Studies (MPS)

Department

School of Graduate Studies

Abstract

Last December's Summit of the Americas consolidated the new convergence of values between the U.S. and Latin Americas and set out an ambitious action plan. The commitment to negotiate a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by the year 2005 was not only because it will bring its participants higher economic growth, but also because it symbolizes the common philosophy of the hemisphere -- of free trade enterprise, competition, and efficiency; of decision making by markets not governments; of growth and opportunity, rather than centralized government planning. It is also the philosophy which most powerfully supports the profound democratic and social transfonnations now underway on Latin America. (Watson, pg.1). Free trade will yield dramatic benefits in terms of growth and jobs and higher incomes. It will permit us to pursue economic opportunities, and at the same time, to reaffim our commitment to promote the rights and interests of our workers so that all our people have the chance to benefit form free trade-- President Clinton. Free trade in our hemisphere had been talked about for years, but will soon be a reality. The purpose of this study is to find out exactly how close we are to the creation of an FTAA . An overview of previously existing trade agreements will be looked at as well as, the steps that have been taken towards a FTAA. In this paper, I will also take a look at the obstacles facing a FTAA and why it will not exist by the goal of the year 2005.

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