FTAA Facts

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The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)
includes the 34 nations, besides Cuba, that make up the
entire western hemisphere.
The North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA) went into effect in 1994 and serves as the basis
for FTAA. Here is what the NAFTA years have seen:
• one million Mexican peasant families have been
forced out of farming
• eight million Mexicans have fallen from middle class
to poverty status
• income for self-employed Mexicans has fallen by 40%
• real wages in Mexico have gone down from $5 a day,
and the purchasing power for the minimum wage has
dropped by half
• birth defects and environmental diseases like hepatitis
are two or three times higher than the national average
in border factory towns due to toxins, unsafe drinking
water, and lack of proper sewage treatment
• wages for non-college-educated workers in the U.S.
have decreased
• 1,000,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the
Negotiators agreed on a limited version of FTAA at
the Miami meeting, which slows down the prospect for
reaching a hemispheric trade bloc by 2005, as originally
scheduled. The U.S. will still make mini-deal bilateral
trade agreements and is working on a regional agreement
with Central American countries (CAFTA).
The city of Miami raised a total of $12 million to
host the meeting of the FTAA, $8.5 million of which
came from Congress as part of the $87 billion Iraq
package. City Police worked with U.S. Marshals, the
Federal Protective Service, and the Coast Guard to prepare
for up to 100,000 protesters.
Sources include Global Exchange, Public Citizen,
and the AFL-CIO.

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