The United States has pursued several fundamental objectives in pursuing a free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. The Andean Pact, concluded in 1969, was created in 1994 with the creation of a customs union between Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador. In February 1996, common external rates ranged from 5% to 20%. Exports under the pact reached $3.2 billion in 1994, more than 10% more than the previous year. Andean countries have largely liberalized their trade and investment regimes through coordinated efforts under the aegis of the Andean Pact. The Andean Pact has adopted several decisions on the protection of intellectual property rights, which have introduced a common regime for patents and trademarks, new plant varieties and copyrights. In order to limit the benefits of NAFTA to North America, rules of origin have been developed to define the origin of a given product. Only products originating in North America are granted free trade status, allowing them to enter the United States, Mexico or Canada duty-free or duty-free. Under these rules, with the expiry of tariffs, the incentive to use North American goods increases. NAFTA rules strengthen, clarify and simplify the rules of the U.S.-Canada free trade agreement. Anti-dumping is a very controversial area.
No other topics were at the centre of the debates and differences between the authors of this volume. This disagreement reflects the great disagreement among trade policy analysts in general. As Howell points out in Chapter 16, a central problem is the lack of credible studies by governments or private research institutes on global market structures and the impact on the functioning of global markets of private anti-competitive practices and different forms of public intervention. The U.S. government should conduct such analyses as a first step toward building a national consensus on how the country could effectively manage anti-competitive activities and foreign industrial policies. All of this indicates the need to better inform public opinion about the relatively small number of jobs directly affected by imports from low-wage developing countries; Higher wages resulting from exports; the domestic nature of many problems that cause public anxiety; and what the government is doing on the national territory to address these issues.