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Social Change and Development Sociology 336 11-13-03 Free Trade Area of the Americas FTAA Free Trade Area of the Americas FTAA is an extension of the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA The FTAA follows a similar model that was developed by NAFTA FTAA has nine groups that correspond to NAFTAs chapters The FTAAs nine groups cover the following topics agriculture competition policy dispute settlement government procurement intellectual property rights investment market access services subsidies and anti-dumping FTAA started when US officials organized a Summit of the Americas this conference laid the foundation for hemisphere-wide free trade Thirty-four nations set up the Trade Advisory Committee and negotiators of this committee meet every month The FTAA has not incorporated citizens input in the negotiation process despite the persistent calls for an open and democratic development of trade policy On the other hand due to this and lack of publicity most people are unaware of the FTAA and what it represents Without citizen interference corporate representatives are able to advise the negotiators during the rule writing process which allows for greater corporate control The rules developed by the FTAA neglect social services and prevent the government from regulating health labor and the environment while encouraging deregulation and privatizations The FTAA claims that these regulations would create a barrier to trade There is a generalized fear that the FTAA will amplify the negative effects that were created by NAFTA An estimated 766000 people lost their jobs in the US when companies relocated to Mexico NAFTA caused US citizens to suffer as well as Mexico with this transition Mexican workers are taken advantage of receiving less wages and fewer benefits Corporations get by saying that the workers are paid the local minimum wage but minimum wage is set at poverty level The Mexican peso was forced to devalue in order to gain foreign investment needed for a free trade export oriented economy This caused 8 million
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