Issues / Labor, Trade, & Finance
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) sets guidelines for the elimination of most trade and investment barriers between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico over a 15-year period.
Since the early 1980s Washington has sought to break down all barriers to U.S. trade and investment in Mexico.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a wholly owned government corporation established in 1971, provides taxpayer-backed and taxpayer-funded loans, loan guarantees, and insurance to businesses for investments in politically risky countries.
Today, member countries number 125 (nearly the whole world except China, some former communist countries, and a number of small nations) and WTO rules apply to over 90 percent of international trade.
In promoting structural adjustment, the U.S. has concentrated on short-term profits for businesses and narrow diplomatic gain.
The economic crisis in Mexico has dampened enthusiasm in the U.S. for the extension of free-trade agreements throughout the Americas.
Environmentalists expect access to information and broad participation in decisionmaking. In addition to culture, substantive differences divide the trade and environmental communities.
Transnational corporations (TNCs) increasingly shape our lives as they weave worldwide webs of production, consumption, finance, and culture.
U.S. agricultural policymakers have long relied on the world marketplace to serve a diverse agendaincluding management of the domestic farm economy, promotion of geopolitical interests, and most prominently, bolstering exports.
The conventional arms trade continues to bedevil the international system. Although the world arms trade continues to decline in dollar value, the major arms supplying states have redoubled their efforts to export their weapons overseas.