April 23, 2001 |

This topic covers some of the issues and background information about the in-progress meetings surrounding the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

This agreement looks to be just as misnamed as other so-called ``free trade'' agreements like NAFTA or the WTO. Such agreements usually mandate protecionist measures like patents and copyrights (the TRIPS agreement), mandate the treatment of foreign investors (MAI) while ignoring the treatment of foreign workers (i.e. borders remained closed to people) and specify what things governments may and may not regulate (typically environmental and working-condition standards; see Methanex case under NAFTA's Chapter 11). There is some concern that public services like mail, health care, social assistance and the like may, under GATS (a WTO agreement), become fodder for lawsuits from foreign companies looking to provide the same services in Canada.

Calling these things ``trade agreements'' is certainly honest, but pretending they are ``free trade'' is simply silly.

Canada has in the past (NAFTA, WTO, GATT) and is right now (FTAA) negotiating away its sovereignty to appointed and non-democratic ``trade tribunals''. Learn how, learn why and decide whether you think this is good or not.

keyword: ``FTAA''

keyword: ``ftaa''

Regular Expression Nodes

regex: GATS

regex: MAI

regex: TRIPS