Summit of the Americas Major Challenges and Potentials CanadaÃÂ¡ÃÂ¦s future is inextricably linked to that of our partners in the Americas geographically, economically and politically. Together we stand at a significant moment in our common history as we face the collective challenge of transforming the regionÃÂ¡ÃÂ¦s political, economic and social promise into a more prosperous, secure and freer future for all citizens. In April 2001 the presidents and prime ministers of the 34 democratically elected governments of the Western Hemisphere will meet in Quebec city at the third summit of the Americas to chart a common course for the new millennium. As chair of the summit Canada has played a leading role in developing the agenda and providing support for preparatory activities. These efforts represent a major undertaking requiring co-operation among federal, provincial/territorial and municipal governments as well as information sharing and consultation with the private sector and society organizations.
The first two summits of Americas help in United States in 1994 and in Santiago in 1998 fostered comprehensive practical cooperation on a range of issues of common concern In Miami leaders sought to strengthen hemispheric partnerships in order to encourage the advancement of mutual interests including peace democracy prosperity and social justice their aim was to channel the momentum created by the convergence of democratic values and a new spirit of economic liberalization in the region into a plan of action with 23 initiatives grouped under the following themes.
ÃÂÃÂ Preserving and Strengthening the Community of Democracies in the Americas.
ÃÂÃÂ Promoting Prosperity through economic integration and free trade.
ÃÂÃÂ Eradicating Poverty and discrimination in the hemisphere.
ÃÂÃÂ Guaranteeing sustainable development and conserving the natural environment for future generations.
Following the Miami summit the summit implementation review group was created to monitor and manage follow-up and implementation of summit initiatives implementation of each of the 23 initiatives contained in the Miami plan of action was co-ordinated either by a specific country a regional or international organization or a multilateral development bank.
Negative impacts on American Free Trade ÃÂÃÂ Despite their apparent differences both NAFTA and Mercosur are similar accords.
ÃÂÃÂ Through their provisions on trade and investment both agreements lock in the structural adjustment agreements implemented over the past decade.
ÃÂÃÂ The negative effects of this model of economic integration include falling wages and rising unemployment.
These provisions along with others on pubic and financial services have the effect of locking in the structural adjustment programs implemented in the region over the past decade. Thus both NAFTA and Mercosur have serious negative implications for member countries if countries cannot regulate foreign investment for example they will be unable to implement coordinated industrial or developmental strategies they will be forced to continue to reduce wages to allow poor working conditions and to ignore environmental regulations in increasingly desperate moves to attract mobile international capital this in turn contributes to job and wage losses and economic insecurity in United States.
Positive impacts on American Free Trade ÃÂÃÂ Trade negotiations should be opened to a broader representation of society.
ÃÂÃÂ Labor environmental and other relevant social issues should be included in the negotiations of trade agreements.
ÃÂÃÂ Investment policy should balance investors needs for clear rules with the needs of each country development strategy.
While Mercosur is not dramatically different from NAFTA it does offer certain advantages for Latin American Countries the treaty of established a process of discussion on a variety of issues related to economic integration since its structure is more flexible than NAFTA it could eventually include meaningful provisions on labor rights environmental issues and other social concerns.