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Follow Up lets turn to the real world The Summit of the Americas is taking place in Quebec City World leaders and protestors and gathering around one key factor of development - trade Preliminary talks are underway to develop a Free Trade Area of the Americas from Argentina to Canada Many people have strong opinions about trade Some of these opinions are better informed than others If you were hired as an advisor to either the protest groups or the governments what useful information could you provide them about the risks and benefits of such a deal This issue of free trade throughout 34 countries of Americas except Cuba has been a matter that has been gaining more and more popularity lately The talks of escalated electricity in the air have been augmenting as we have been approaching this long awaited conference in Quebec City In December 1994 at the first Summit of the Americas the 34 democratically elected Heads of State of the Western Hemisphere agreed to create a Free Trade Area of the Americas by 2005 However the US are known to be pushing for an earlier completion deadline of 2003 The FTAA is suppose to eliminate trade and investment barriers on virtually all goods and services traded by member countries reducing prices for consumers and creating new markets for producers throughout the hemisphere a href httpOffice of NAFTA Inter-American Affairsa As theres three years left to seek to meet the anticipated deadline to strike an agreement this meeting that has started this weekend might prove crucial as the draft that serves as the basis for the agreement to be complete by 2005 is shaping up persistently Besides governments of each country there are nine negotiating groups NG within the FTAA process and each NG has responsible for negotiating a portion of the overall FTAA accord These nine negotiation groups have been meeting regularly in Miami which is the site of
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