Achievements, Prospects and Challenges of Hemispheric Cooperation

Jun 2006
The greater openness of developing countries¿ economies and the free trade agreements negotiated in recent years have spurred arguments in favor of greater integration in the world; they have also given rise to strong opposition. In some cases the opposition stems from the reaction of specific, domestically oriented sectoral interests, and in others from the activism of groups adhering to what has been termed "globophobia". Regrettably, the implementation of the Hemispheric Cooperation Program (HCP) has been constrained by the paralysis of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations, and thus has been extremely slow. Although the future of the HCP process is unclear, the experience to date in the Hemisphere provides a sufficient basis to analyze its origin and peculiarities, as well as its chief difficulties and determinants. The bilateral negotiations between the United States and Central America, the Dominican Republic and the Andean countries also provide important input for the analysis in this study, and the lessons learned can be very helpful to ensuring the successful implementation of the HCP.