Free Trade Area of the Americas

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The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) (Spanish: Área de Libre Comercio de las Américas (ALCA), French: Zone de libre-échange des Amériques (ZLÉA), Portuguese: Área de Livre Comércio das Américas (ALCA), Dutch: Vrijhandelszone van Amerika) was a proposed agreement to eliminate or reduce the trade barriers among all countries in the Americas but Cuba. In the last round of negotiations, trade ministers from 34 countries met in Miami, Florida, United States, in November 2003 to discuss the proposal. [3] The proposed agreement was an extension of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, Mexico and the United States. Opposing the proposal were Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Dominica, Nicaragua and Honduras (all of which entered the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas in response), and Argentina, Chile and Brazil.

Discussions have faltered over similar points as the Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization (WTO) talks; developed nations seek expanded trade in services and increased intellectual property rights, while less developed nations seek an end to agricultural subsidies and free trade in agricultural goods. Similar to the WTO talks, Brazil has taken a leadership role among the less developed nations, while the United States has taken a similar role for the developed nations.

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