Another question is whether the United States should deepen its integration with its NAFTA trading partners. A recent study by senior researchers at the Institute for International Economics on the successes and challenges of NAFTA reveals that while NAFTA has been successful in promoting regional trade and investment, it also has limitations. The authors suggest “upgrading” NAFTA and that the United States, Canada and Mexico transform their free trade agreement into a customs union and introduce a common external tariff. They believe that this would promote trade between the three trading partners; reduce distortions caused by NAFTA rules of origin; and help resolve certain trade disputes that affect trade relations in North America. (71) The basic provisions of the FADP were laid down in the Trade Act 1974 (P.L. 93-618) for a limited period of time. These provisions have been regularly renewed, most recently under the Trade Act 2002. Under the TPA, if a trade deal is reached within a certain time frame, Congress will consider laws to implement the trade deal through expedited procedures that prohibit amendments, limit debate, and set deadlines for Congress to act. Under the 2002 Act, as amended, Congress approved the TPA for trade agreements entered into before July 1, 2005, but also approved an automatic two-year extension of the TPA to trade agreements concluded before July 1, 2007. TPA assures the president that agreements such as the U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreements would receive a timely vote in Congress as long as certain requirements, such as consultations with Congress, are met. Without the APT, draft laws would be considered and amended under normal legislative procedures.
NAFTA, signed by President George H.W. Bush on December 17, 1992, has been in force since January 1994. It is the largest preferential trade agreement in the world. The agreement eliminated tariffs and other barriers to trade and investment between Canada, Mexico and the United States with a 15-year phase-in period. The phased implementation phase ends in 2008. With a population of 430 million and a gross domestic product (GDP) of US$13.4 trillion, the three countries form the largest market in the Western Hemisphere. The total exports of the three countries amount to more than a trillion dollars, or 15.4% of the world total. In 2003, imports amounted to $1.7 trillion, or $23 trillion for the total world. After the third South American Summit on the 8th. In December 2004, South America`s two main trading blocs, Mercosur and CAN, signed the Cuzco Declaration, a Memorandum of Understanding establishing the Community of South American States (CSN). .