NAFTA: What Comes Next?

NAFTA: What Comes Next?

NAFTA: What Comes Next?

NAFTA: What Comes Next?

Synopsis

This volume looks to the future to suggest the necessary widening and deeping of NAFTA to include the whole of the hemisphere.

Excerpt

Regionalism has emerged as one of the defining forces of the world economy in the latter part of the twentieth century. Although the specific efforts vary in scope and intent, the general trend is unmistakable. the European Union -- the old Common Market -- is both the earliest and strongest manifestation, with an ambitious agenda to develop a shared political and economic identity. At the other end of the spectrum are looser and smaller associations. the asean group in the Asia-Pacific area and mercosur and other limited arrangements in Latin America are examples. the regional arrangements in North America lie somewhere between. the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) lacks the historic motivation of the European Union to pool national sovereignty. Yet it does reflect an intensively negotiated framework to codify free trade and investment and reaches into other areas of economic life, breaking ground on environmental and other issues.

The rise of regionalism poses many important questions about the future of the international economy. How will the process of regional deepening evolve? Where will regional perimeters be set? Will national governments be willing to accept the implied loss in national autonomy with respect to economic (and increasingly other) decisions that comprehensive agreements imply? Will, in the end, regional accords promote an open world economy or undermine it?

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