chapter  ii
32 Pages

Future Directions

In the FTAA negotiations to date, environment and development issues have too often been viewed through the prism of their potential disruptive effects on trade flows or economic relations. Hence, there has not been sufficient scope for analysing and discussing the fuller set of trade and sustainable development linkages. This shortcoming is critical, not just from a sustainable development perspective, but for the trade community as well. To achieve broad-based support for any new trade agreement, it is clear that environmental and social concerns will also have to be addressed in a sensitive, step-by-step hemispheric law and policy discussion. For governments of the Americas to develop a hemispheric trade liberalisation agenda that fosters rather than frustrates sustainability objectives, countries with extremely diverse development trajectories and economic conditions must be satisfied. An FTAA trade and sustainable development agenda can take a hemispheric approach to these issues, but must put strong emphasis on Latin American and Caribbean priorities. It must address current fears and concerns and most critically, avoid last minute negotiations, which could unnecessarily alienate key players.