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GBF 2005: Free Trade in the Americas

Global Business Forum

Free Trade in the Americas

Financial System





Most countries of the Western Hemisphere are engaged in regional trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Market of the South (MERCOSUR). Most are also involved in hemispheric negotiations to create a broad Free Trade Area for the Americas, and in global negotiations under the WTO to advance the Doha Development Agenda, in the hemispheric and global negotiations have caused several countries to pursue bilateral trade agreements.

This conference assessed the current state of trade agreements and negotiations in the Western Hemisphere, and examined how bilateral, regional, and global arrangements may reinforce one another or work at cross purposes. Ultimately, we hope to point the way toward more fruitful cooperations.

On October 6-7, 2005, leading scholars and officials from Canada, the United States, and Latin America examined the nature of Western Hemisphere trade agreements their implications for hemispheric relations and the multilateral trading system.

This conference analyzed interactions among the different trade strategies that have developed in the hemisphere. Specific topics included:

  • New Trade Strategies in the Americas
  • Regional Free Trade Agreements
  • Bilateral Free Trade Agreements
  • Results of Free Trade

View the Speakers for October 2005  
October 6, 2005
Time/Location Event
Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, 101 S University Parks Drive

Conference Registration and Reception

  • Sponsored by North Texas District Export Council
Barfield Drawing Room, Bill Daniel Student Center

Opening Banquet

  • Keynote Speaker - Supachai Panitchpakdi (Secretary General of UNCTAD and immediate past Director General of World Trade Organization)
October 7, 2005
Time/Location Event
Barfield Drawing Room, Bill Daniel Student Center


  • Speaker - Richard Fisher (President of Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and former Deputy United States Trade Representative)
Blume Conference Room

New Trade Strategies in the Americas

  • Abelardo L. Valdez (Ambassado, Trade Lawyer and former Executive, USAID)
  • Michael Hart (Centre for Trade Policy and Law, Ottawa)
  • Sherry Stephenson (Organization of American States)
  • Herminio Blanco (President and CEO of Soluciones Estrategicas and Former Minister of Trade and Industry, Mexico)
Blume Conference Room

Regional and Sub-Regional Agreements

  • NAFTA - Victor Lopez Villafane (ITESM, Mexico)
  • CACM - Alberto Trejos (INCAE, former Minister of Trade, Costa Rica)
  • Mercosur - Felipe Frydman (Central Bank of Argentina)
  • Other - Sebastian Saez (ECLAC, Chile)
Banquet Room


  • Keynote Speaker - John Curtis (International Trade Canada)
Southwest Securities Financial Markets Center

Press Conference

Blume Conference Room

Results of North American and Hemispheric Trade Negotiations

  • Jeffrey Schott (Institute for International Economics)
  • Jorge Chami Batista (University of Rio de Janeiro)
  • Wendy Dobson (University of Toronto)
  • Robert Devlin (Inter-American Development Bank)
Blume Conference Room

Interaction of Regional and Global Trade Agreements

  • Sylvia Ostry (Center for International Studies, University of Toronto)
  • Gary Hufbauer (Institute of International Economics)
  • Mario A. Marconini (Brazilian Center for International Relations)
  • Supachai Panitchpakdi (Secretary General of UNCTAD and immediate past Director General of World Trade Organization)
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