Constructing Democracy in the North American Free Trade Area

Maravel, Alexandra | January 1, 1996

This paper focuses on the implementing mechanisms, examining their character and implications for regional government as the possibility of a hemisphere-wide free trade area looms across the Americas. The essential problem is how to define the political framework that Canada, Mexico, and the United States are creating. It is not clear that it is an inherently demo- cratic regime. The regime, created to oversee the complex system of trading rules, is arguably (and paradoxically) necessary to ensure “free” trade, but it may undermine the very emergent regional democ- racy it seeks to empower.