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Home Policy Articles: International Trade, Development & Finance: Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)

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"Free Trade:" Is it Working for Farmers?

Darrin Qualman’s article “Free Trade:” Is it Working for Farmers? argues that free trade agreements have dramatically altered the relative size and market power of players in the agri-food production chain. While Canadian agri-food exports have experienced dramatic increases since the institution of free trade agreements, realized net farm income has remained stagnant. Qualman claims free trade has two effects on agriculture: 1) it turns the world into a single hyper-competitive market, and 2) it facilitates agribusiness mergers and conglomeration.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/Saskatchewan_Pubs...

Divide and Conquer: The FTAA, US Trade Strategy and Public Services in the Americas

In this paper, Sinclair and Traynor argue that the services and investment rules of the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas Treaty (FTAA) present a grave threat to public services and public interest regulation throughout the Americas. They base their analysis on the neo-liberal philosophy that the smallest government is best government; they contend the FTAA would create intense pressure to privatize, deregulate, and erode existing public services.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

FTAA: A Dangerous NAFTA-GATS Hybrid

On February 14, 2003 Canada publicly released its initial offer to cover services and investment under the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Sinclair points out that Canada’s offer is merely a list of draft reservations copied (almost entirely verbatim) from Canada’s list of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) reservations drawn up in 1994.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

Globalization and the North: Impacts of Trade Treaties on Canada's Northern Governments

The book’s introduction and summary are available in PDF format, however the entire book is available only from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). Noel Schacter, Jim Beebe and Luigi Zanasi argue that Canada’s three northern territories are even more vulnerable than the provinces to the impacts of international trade treaties signed by Canadian federal governments.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

Lessons from NAFTA: The High Cost of "Free Trade"

In this volume, researchers from all three NAFTA member countries – Canada, the United States, and Mexico – assess the agreement’s consequences for their respective countries. As the CCPA points out, the researchers found the consequences of NAFTA to be overwhelmingly negative.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

Putting Health First: Canadian Health Care Reform, Trade Treaties and Foreign Policy

The authors of Putting Health First: Canadian Health Care Reform, Trade Treaties and Foreign Policy, argue Canada needs greater coherence between its approach to health care, on the one hand, and its approach to trade and foreign policy, on the other. They claim international treaties such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) could negatively affect important aspects of the Canadian health care system.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...

The Art of the State II: Folio 8

This book-length publication, edited by Courchene, Savoie and Schwanen, contains papers that were presented at the “Art of the State” Conference, hosted by the IRPP and held in October 2003. This conference featured experts from Canada, Mexico and the United States who came together to explore new ideas, new instruments and new processes for enriching the North American experience. The main goal of the conference was to remedy gaps in public discourse, while at the same time understanding how three sovereign nations could advance common causes and manage their increasing interdependence.
http://www.irpp.org/books/archive/AOTS2/folio_8.pdf

The Art of the State II: Thinking North America – Folio 1

This book-length publication, edited by Courchene, Savoie and Schwanen, contains papers presented at the “Art of the State” Conference, hosted by the IRPP and held in October 2003. This conference featured experts from Canada, Mexico, and the United States who came together to explore new ideas, instruments, and processes for enriching the North American experience. The main goal of the conference was to remedy gaps in public discourse, while at the same time broaden understanding how three sovereign nations could advance common causes and manage their increasing interdependence at the same time.
http://www.irpp.org/books/archive/AOTS2/folio_1.pdf

The FTAA Bulletin: Analysts Comment on Their Country and the Free Trade Area of the Americas

The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) was developed in 1994 at the first Summit of the Americas meeting. Its aim was to lower a wide array of trade and investment barriers among countries, as well as stimulate economic growth. Ten years later, FTAA members are re-evaluating their trade policy options. This re-evaluation, as Danielle Goldfarb points out, is especially important in light of recent events, including: a 2003 FTAA ministerial declaration allowing countries to assume different levels of obligations, the stalled WTO Doho Round talks, and weak economic growth in Latin America.
http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/FTAABulletin.pdf

The New Dynamics of North America: US-Mexico Relations and the Border Economy

In May 2002 the Public Policy Forum organized a study tour to northern Mexico and the southern United States for the purpose of enhancing the understanding of Canadian policy-makers about the relationship between the two nations. As Yves Poisson and Erika-Kirsten Paupst, authors of the subsequent study tour report, point out, there are a number of reasons why a greater understanding of the US-Mexico relationship is important to Canada. Chief among them is the economic case made by the authors; with growing trade and foreign direct investment under NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement), Canada and Mexico have increasingly stronger economic ties.
http://www.ppforum.ca/common/assets/publications/en/ow_p_05_...

When Worlds Collide: Implications of International Trade and Investment Agreements for Non-Profit Social Services

Andrew Jackson and Matthew Sanger examine the implications of international trade agreements and investments on Canada’s domestic social policies. Although Canada has vowed its domestic social policies will not be compromised by international trade obligations, it has also been a leading proponent of increasing trade liberalization in the services sector.
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/documents/National_Office_P...