ALTERNATIVES FOR THE AMERICAS
On April 15-18, 1998, about a thousand men and women from nearly every nation of the hemisphere gathered for a Peoples’ Summit of the Americas in Santiago, Chile. They expressed their collective rejection of the dominant “neo-liberal” agenda that promotes trade and investment liberalization, deregulation, privatization, and market-driven economics as the formula for development, a formula that has been disasterous for most peoples of the hemisphere.
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Meanwhile, the Presidents and Prime Ministers of our nations were also meeting in Santiago, to launch the negotiation of a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) scheduled for completion in 2005. It is expected that the FTAA will follow the pattern of existing agreements like NAFTA and expand neo-liberalism throughout the hemisphere.
This document reflects an ongoing, collaborative process to establish concrete and viable alternatives, based on the interests of the peoples of our hemisphere, to the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). It is the second draft of a document initially prepared for the April 1998 Peoples’ Summit of the Americas.
This is a working document, designed to stimulate further debate and education on an alternative vision. The paper focuses on positive proposals, while dealing only implicitly with the impact of “neo-liberalism” and free trade agreements on our countries. At this stage of the struggle, it is not enough to oppose, to resist and to criticize. We must build a proposal of our own and fight for it.