Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952613 | Print ISBN: 9781412905794 | Online ISBN: 9781412952613| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Hemispheric integration refers to the process by which a majority of countries in the Americas are liberalizing their trade regimes, thereby contributing to the establishment of a hemisphere-wide free trade area. At present, liberalization has taken the form of numerous and coexistent bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) and customs unions. However, formal negotiations concerning a proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) have been underway since April 1998. The FTAA, if realized, will mark a significant step in the integration of the Western Hemisphere's economies. The initial step toward hemispheric integration was taken in June 1990, when then President of the United States George H. W. Bush launched the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative (EAI), an ambitious project to establish a free trade area stretching from Anchorage to Tierra de Fuego. In addition to promoting extensive trade liberalization with the goal of establishing free trade throughout the ...