Free trade area of the Americas a three level analysis
Williams, Clay G.
Looney, Robert E.
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The Free Trade Area of the Americas is a proposed treaty that would encompass the Western Hemisphere-800 million people and a 13 trillion dollar economy. It is a regional agreement that cannot be understood without the interrelated issues at both the international and domestic level. The single most important issue that resides at the nexus of all three of these levels is domestic subsidies on agriculture. FTAA cannot move forward at the regional level without reduction in the U.S. domestic subsidies. The United States is not willing to reduce its domestic protection without reciprocal reductions from the European Union, specifically, France. Even if international agreement is reached, the domestic level interest group politics must be factored in. Furthermore, the clock is ticking at the domestic level with both the President's Trade Promotion Authority set to expire along with the Farm Bill in 2007. The final analysis will indicate international negotiations will not yield enough genuine concessions soon enough to break the regional level loggerheads and that domestic interest group politics will not allow unreciprocated unilateral reductions to break that stalemate either. Free Trade in the Western Hemisphere is, therefore, likely to continue to progress as a series of subregional and bilateral agreements.
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