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Estudos Avançados

Print version ISSN 0103-4014On-line version ISSN 1806-9592

Abstract

BATISTA JR, Paulo Nogueira. A Alca e o Brasil. Estud. av. [online]. 2003, vol.17, n.48, pp.267-293. ISSN 0103-4014.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-40142003000200021.

This paper discusses the main features of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) currently being negotiated by 34 countries of the Western Hemisphere. It argues that the FTAA would have wide ranging implications for the countries involved, given that negotiations go way beyond merchandise trade liberalization to include several other strategically important areas, such as investment, services, government procurement and the protection of intellectual property rights. Negotiations have been unbalanced in several major respects. The United States excludes from the coverage of the agreement issues that are of fundamental importance for Brazil and other participating countries, including antidumping legislation and agricultural subsidies. On the other hand, the US government and Congress have repeatedly indicated that they are reluctant, even under free trade agreements, to allow additional market access in less competitive, so-called import-sensitive sectors of the US economy. Even if negotiations were more evenly balanced, it would not be in Brazil's interest to participate in free trade areas with developed economies - much less one such as the FTAA which would encompass such a wide range of issues. Developed countries like the United States have structural advantages over a developing country like Brazil that cannot be eliminated in the coming decades. With the implementation of the FTAA, Brazilian firms would find themselves exposed to free competition with larger and more powerful North American corporations. Moreover, participating countries would have to give up many instruments of government policy and national development programs would move out of their reach.

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