A Free Trade Area of the Americas: Major Policy Issues and Status of Negotiations

Description:

In 1994, 34 Western Hemisphere nations met at the first Summit of the Americas, envisioning a plan for completing a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by January 1, 2005. Nine years later, the third draft text of the agreement was presented at the November 2003 Miami trade ministerial. The Ministerial Declaration, negotiated
largely by the two co-chairs, Brazil and the United States, took the FTAA in a new direction, away from the comprehensive, single undertaking principle, toward a two-tier framework comprising a set of “common rights and obligations” for all countries, augmented by voluntary plurilateral arrangements with country benefits related to
commitments. A follow-up meeting in early 2004 in Puebla, Mexico was unable to clarify this concept, highlighting the deep differences that remained between the United States and Brazil. FTAA talks subsequently stalled and the original January 1, 2005 deadline was missed. In the meantime, both Brazil and the United States are pursuing subregional trade pacts that may further complicate the negotiation process. Talks between Brazil and the United States may resume in early 2005, but it is still unclear if significant progress can be made on the FTAA this year.

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Creation Date: January 3, 2005
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UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Collection(s):
Congressional Research Service Reports
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Place of Publication: Washington D.C., USA
Date(s):
  • Creation: January 3, 2005
Description:

In 1994, 34 Western Hemisphere nations met at the first Summit of the Americas, envisioning a plan for completing a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by January 1, 2005. Nine years later, the third draft text of the agreement was presented at the November 2003 Miami trade ministerial. The Ministerial Declaration, negotiated
largely by the two co-chairs, Brazil and the United States, took the FTAA in a new direction, away from the comprehensive, single undertaking principle, toward a two-tier framework comprising a set of “common rights and obligations” for all countries, augmented by voluntary plurilateral arrangements with country benefits related to
commitments. A follow-up meeting in early 2004 in Puebla, Mexico was unable to clarify this concept, highlighting the deep differences that remained between the United States and Brazil. FTAA talks subsequently stalled and the original January 1, 2005 deadline was missed. In the meantime, both Brazil and the United States are pursuing subregional trade pacts that may further complicate the negotiation process. Talks between Brazil and the United States may resume in early 2005, but it is still unclear if significant progress can be made on the FTAA this year.

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6 pages.

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Partner:
UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Collection:
Congressional Research Service Reports
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Resource Type: Report
Format: Text
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Access: Public