The Free Trade Area of the Americas : can regional economic integration lead to greater cooperation on security?
Sandoval, Thomas M.
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The purpose of this thesis is to assess the U.S. policies favoring the passing and implementing the Free Trade Area of the Americas and its impact on cooperative security in the Western Hemisphere. Similar to the 1990s, when the U.S. government debated the pros and cons of the NAFTA, the United States now faces a debate over passage and implementation of the FTAA. With many U.S. and Latin American citizens' focus on economic domestic issues, FTAA talks have been widely contested among non-governmental organizations, governmental organizations, labor and social groups, and the legislative and executive branches of the United States and Latin American governments. This thesis argues that economic policies can influence security policies for economically integrated countries and lead to greater cooperation on regional security. The increasing level of transnational threats, pressure from new actors for stability, and the weakening state role stemming from the free market environment and democratic reform leads to a spillover effect in establishing more coordinated security strategies for the threats associated with economic integration. Therefore, economic integration can lead to greater cooperation on security and I argue that the United States and Latin America should pass and implement the FTAA as one means to improve collective security.
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