STOP THE SOUTHWARD NAFTA EXPANSION
NO TO THE FREE TRADE AREA OF THE AMERICAS (FTAA)
COME TO TORONTO OCTOBER 31 TO NOVEMBER 4, 1999
From November 1-4, 1999 trade representatives from throughout the western hemisphere will convene in Toronto, Canada. Their goal is to remove all social and environmental impediments to trade in the Americas. Their plan promises to benefit multinational corporations, while devastating national economies, sending people into deeper poverty, and destroying the natural environment. How do they intend to do this? Through the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).
The FTAA is an expansion of the 1994 NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). The FTAA intends to bind 34 countries in the western hemisphere to further remove restrictions on the free movement of capital, goods, and services. Like the attempted Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), the FTAA will further extend the implications of NAFTA, while eliminating its environmental and labor side agreements. The FTAA plans to broaden definitions of investment to further eradicate the distinctions between short and long term investment, thus promoting socially irresponsible financial speculation.
Such "quick buck" speculation, encouraged by recently liberalized international trade policy, was largely responsible for the 1995 peso crash and the more recent economic crisis in Southeast Asia. If the FTAA continues in the direction of NAFTA and the MAI, the affected nations will also be prohibited from distinguishing between domestic and foreign investment. Thus, Latin American countries will be forced to allow foreign companies to take advantage of and extend low environmental and labor standards, while providing little benefit to their local economies. As for direct effects to North America, jobs will disappear as companies continue to move south. The recent moves to liberalize trade have created worldwide social and economic disaster
The trade ministers of the FTAA fear an interruption in the negotiations could halt the entire process. Here lies the weak link. We must show our opposition to the FTAA.
What can you do?
- Come show your opposition at the Toronto rally. Organize affinity groups and carpools. Come with words, banners, puppets, flyers, and lots of people.
- Write your congressperson. The Clinton Administration has not received permission from Congress to be in these negotiations. Demand that these talks cease!
- Call US negotiator on investment issues, Lisa Kupiske at (202) 395-3510. Tell her no FTAA!
For further information please contact ACERCA or the Metro Network for Social Justice:
Action for Community & Ecology in the Rainforests of Central America
Metro Network for Social Justice
Toronto FTAA ministerial November 1999| OAS Windsor June 2000 | FTAA Quebec April 2001 | www.agp.org