Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.
The Free Trade Area of the Americas is intended to be the most far-reaching international trade agreement in history, expanding the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to all other countries of the Western Hemisphere except Cuba. Launched in 1994, the FTAA would be the largest free trade zone in the world covering 34 countries with a population of 800 million and a combined GDP of $11 trillion.

At the April 2001 Summit of the Americas, hosted by the Canadian government in Qub0065c City, heads of governments will gather to review progress toward a

hemispheric accord. While the Canadian government has yet to release a draft

document despite repeated calls, it is clear the FTAA seeks to combine NAFTAs investor state provisions with the across-the-board services assault of the GATS. Some countries are pressing to finalize this dangerous agreement by 2003, two years earlier than originally planned.

Protestors will converge on Qub0065c City to call for an end to the FTAA. Heavy-handed police response has made this one of the largest security operations in Canadian history, fearing a repeat of the negotiations shutdown in Seattle in 1999.

With fortifications worthy of a war zone, the summit is designed to shut out opposition. A two-meter chain link fence will seal the perimeter of the Summits security zone, with access severely limited.

Ironically, the organizers response has further legitimized protestors concerns and criticisms. Every attempt to quell dissent helps substantiate the criticisms of a secretive, undemocratic, corporate-centered process that is not in the interests of Canadians or other hemispheric citizens.