Thursday, November 10, 2005

Evo and the FTAA

In this article, IBD shows that the summit of the Americas was a triumph for FTAA, despite the lack of agreement. The articles correctly points out that only 5 countries were opposed to it - Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela - and 4 of them did so because of valid concerns, not because of a shared ideological base with the 5th country, Venezuela. These 4 countries are bound to reach a free trade agreement with the US anytime soon, while Venezuela keeps locked up.
However, reading today's La Razon, there is a reason for concern, the concern being that instead of one, two countries will reject FTAA because of ideology. In this article MAS proposes the creation of a regional trade block to counter NAFTA and the EU. I guess MAS has never heard of MERCOSUR, of which Bolivia is an associate country. Perhaps their proposal is to reach full membership? Or does MAS believe that having access to bigger markets is a bad thing? Ask Evo.
Regarding FTAA, they are saying that they don't oppose it, they just want it to occur under different, and so far unexplained, terms. However, if we match this statement with another ones made by Evo, stating that he would be Bush's worst nightmare if elected and would only erradicate coca if the US cut the demand for cocaine, the picture becomes clear: Perhaps these terms relate to the free commerce of cocaine? In any case, I don't see FTAA taking place under MAS.
Finally, I don't see the FTAA stalling just because of Bolivia, just remember Fox's words. If anything, Bolivia is bound to get more benefits from entering the agreement than the FTAA from such a small and poor market. There you have one more reason to hope Evo is not the next president.


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