FTAA= Free Trade Area of the Americas.
The worst thing for human rights, ever. You guys remeber NAFTA? North American Free Trade Agreement? It's just that, but bigger to include south america, mexico, and every other latin country except cuba.
the FTAA is yet another example of the kind of free-market fundamentalism that has created a global race to the bottom that erodes environmental protection, workers' livelihoods, and human rights. If you think NAFTA has been a disaster for working families and the environment in the US, Canada, and Mexico, this will be far worse.
The FTAA gets rid of taxes and tarrifs placed on products, so that is is cheaper for Americans to buy things. It will also create I think, the biggest corporate war, ever.
The FTAA will contain a series of commitments to "liberalize" services, which is much like the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) within the WTO. "Services" is a broad category that includes education, health care, environmental services, energy and water utilities, postal services and anything else that you can't drop on your foot. Things in danger include:
[*]Removal of national licensing standards for medical, legal and other key professionals, allowing doctors licensed in one country to practice in any country, even if their level of training or technological sophistication is different.
[*] Privatization of public schools and prisons in the US, opening the door to greater corporate control, corruption and the temptation to cut critical corners (such as medical care for inmates or upkeep of safe school facilities) in the interests of improving profit margins.
[*]Privatization of postal services.
FTAA will also spread alot of things we dont want. I.E. GMO foods.
The US is trying to use the FTAA as a way to force all countries in the hemisphere to accept biotechnology and genetically modified (GM) foods in which unregulated US corporations have taken a lead. Yet food security organizations all over the world agree that these technologies will increase hunger in poor nations.
But someone does benefit.
Not everyone loses in "free trade" agreements. Corporations and wealthy business owners from all participating countrieswho are helping to write the rules of these agreementsstand to gain financially from a system that puts their interests above all others. Politicians often own or have large sums of money invested in corporations and therefore have personal interests at stake.
and here is the official FTAA website. http://www.ftaa-alca.org/alca_e.asp