The US, the FTAA, and the Parameters of Global Governance

Dorval Brunelle

To understand the process of economic integration in the Americas since the Miami
Summit of 1994, when negociations toward the setting up of a Free Trade Area of
the Americas (FTAA) were launched, I will start off with the issue of hemispheric
economic integration as it stood fifty years ago, and compare this to what is now
recognized as a global order.1 To set up this comparison, I will establish a clear-cut
distinction between a world view and a global view, between the « mondial » and the
« global » as we say in French. Subsequently, I will explain why, in order to
understand the implication of the FTAA project, it is important to focus on the
features of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) : these features will
reveal that the project of free trade is not so much about trade, but about
governance. This approach supports the argument that the FTAA plays a central
role in setting up a new global order, the spirit of which is so aptly expressed in the
introductoty quotation by T. L. Friedman.

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