Understanding the Economic Implications & Constraints of U.S. Multilateral & Bilateral Free Trade Agreements by Analyzing NAFTA and the U.S.-Colombian FTA

Fabiani A Duarte, Fabiani A Duarte


By providing over $24 billion in foreign assistance to 154 countries, the United States was the largest economic and humanitarian aid donor in the world in 2008 (Schaefer, 2006; Tarnoff & Lawson, 2009). By viewing the U.S. government through this lens, U.S. free trade agreements (FTA), like U.S. foreign aid, assist economically-weaker countries to develop while advancing specific U.S. foreign policy initiatives. By analyzing NAFTA’s effects on Mexico’s economic growth and the provisions of the signed U.S.-Colombian Free Trade Agreement, this paper demonstrates the inefficiencies and unintended consequences of multilateral and bilateral FTAs. The analysis concludes by suggesting an alternative approach to proactive and productive economic development: regional economic FTAs.

Keywords: free trade agreement (FTA), tariff, economic development program, foreign direct investment (FDI), internally displaced persons (IDPs), bilateral FTA, multilateral FTA, regional FTA


Colombian Free Trade Agreement

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15695/vurj.v6i0.2911

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