What Is South America`s Concern about the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (Ftaa) Answers.com

South America`s Concerns about the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA)

The Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) was a proposed agreement among all 34 countries in the Western Hemisphere, except Cuba, to establish a free trade area, similar to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The FTAA negotiations began in 1994 in Miami, but the talks were abandoned in 2005 due to deep disagreements between the United States and several South American countries.

South America`s concerns regarding the FTAA were primarily related to the potential consequences of the agreement for their economies, societies, and political systems. The following are some of the main concerns raised by South American countries.

1. Unequal bargaining power

One of the main concerns of South American countries was the unequal bargaining power between them and the United States. The U.S. is the most powerful economy in the hemisphere, and its companies dominate many sectors, such as agriculture, manufacturing, and services. South American countries feared that they might be forced to accept unfavorable terms because of their weaker bargaining position.

2. Labor rights and social protections

South American countries were also worried about the impact of the FTAA on labor rights and social protections. Many South American countries have more advanced labor laws and social safety nets than the United States, and they feared that the FTAA would force them to lower these standards to compete with U.S. companies. There was also concern that the FTAA would lead to the further erosion of labor rights and social protections in the U.S.

3. Environmental protection

Another concern was related to environmental protection. South American countries, particularly those with large Amazon rainforest areas, were worried that the FTAA would lead to greater deforestation, pollution, and environmental degradation. They also feared that the agreement would not adequately protect their natural resources and biodiversity.

4. Intellectual property rights

South American countries were also concerned about the impact of the FTAA on intellectual property rights. They feared that the agreement would give U.S. companies greater protection of their patents, trademarks, and copyrights, which would limit South American countries` access to affordable medicines and technologies.

5. Democratic governance

Finally, there was concern about the impact of the FTAA on democratic governance. South American countries feared that the agreement would give U.S. companies and investors too much influence over their political systems. They also worried that the FTAA would undermine traditional ways of life and culture, particularly among indigenous communities.

Conclusion

The FTAA was a controversial proposal that generated significant concern among South American countries. While some countries viewed the agreement as an opportunity to expand trade and investment, many others feared that it would lead to unequal and unfair economic and social conditions. Ultimately, the FTAA negotiations failed because of these deep disagreements, but the debate over free trade and its consequences continues to this day.

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