Free Trade Area of the Americas: April 2001 Meetings Set Stage for Hard Bargaining to Begin

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Free Trade of the Americas Agreement (FTAA) would eliminate tariffs and create common trade and investment rules within the 34 democratic nations of the Western Hemisphere. The trade ministers for FTAA faced an ambitious agenda at the April 2001 meetings. Accommodations reached by the ministers on controversial issues, such as labor and the environment, antidumping, and nations with small economies, allowed countries to set forth basic principles while keeping topics on the table for future resolution. As a result of the movement on these controversial issues, the ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. May 8, 2001.

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Description

Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Free Trade of the Americas Agreement (FTAA) would eliminate tariffs and create common trade and investment rules within the 34 democratic nations of the Western Hemisphere. The trade ministers for FTAA faced an ambitious agenda at the April 2001 meetings. Accommodations reached by the ministers on controversial issues, such as labor and the environment, antidumping, and nations with small economies, allowed countries to set forth basic principles while keeping topics on the table for future resolution. As a result of the movement on these controversial issues, the trade ministers were able to set out clear objectives and deadlines to promote progress during the next 18 months of the negotiations. The trade ministers told negotiating groups to (1) eliminate material that is in dispute to the maximum extent possible; (2) develop recommendations by April 1, 2002, on the methods and ground rules for negotiation; and (3) develop, where appropriate, inventories of tariffs, nontariff barriers, subsidies, and other practices that distort trade. To build public support for the FTAA process, and to promote transparency in the negotiating process, the trade ministers agreed to publicly release the draft text of the nine negotiating groups. The trade ministers also sought to enhance the role of civil society--meaning nongovernmental groups representing business, labor, environment, and other interests--in the FTAA process. The April 2001 meeting added momentum to the FTAA negotiations by setting new deadlines for completing and implementing the agreement. However, boosting U.S. congressional and public support, dealing with a large and complex agenda of issues, and accommodating the diverse needs and positions of participants are among the challenges facing FTAA negotiators in the hard bargaining ahead."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • May 8, 2001

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  • June 10, 2014, 6:42 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Free Trade Area of the Americas: April 2001 Meetings Set Stage for Hard Bargaining to Begin, text, May 8, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc289742/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.