Expected Repercussions of the FTAA:
  • Reduction and Elimination of Environmental Regulations: International trade agreements dominate standing agreements on environmental issues. Agreements such as the FTAA take priority over "good faith" agreements like the Kyoto Protocol or the Convention on Biological diversity. Environmental agreements are not legally binding, whereas trade agreements are. Ultimately, any environmental arrangement that infringes on the profits of the corporations involved may be found inherently illegal by the World Trade Organization.(4)
  • Sweatshops in Free Trade Zones: "The model of promoting development by extending further guarantees to multinational investors is not new to the Americas; in the last two decades, it has been pursued aggressively through the creation of "Free Trade Zones." But the jobs created in Free Trade Zones often deny workers a living wage, humane working conditions, and the right to organize a union" (7).
  • Forestry Destruction: "Tariff elimination on forest products, according to global forestry industry consultant Jaako Poyry, could increase the consumption of forest products by 3 to 4 % worldwide. This increase in consumption would undoubtedly be carried out through unsustainable logging practices. For example, multi-national timber companies which operate in countries with forests with large tracts of land stand to make enormous profits from tariff elimination through exports to Europe, Japan, and developing countries. In short, the huge profits stemming from the elimination of tariffs would lead to the total destruction of these forests" (8).