As part of the Miami Declaration of the first U.S. summit, the 34 countries pledged to make concrete progress towards a free trade agreement by the year 2000 and to conclude negotiations by 2005. The Declaration calls for the use of existing sub-regional and bilateral agreements to expand and deepen integration. Ministers decided to create nine first negotiating groups covering all areas of tariff and non-tariff issues identified by the Heads of State and Government at the Miami Summit. The entire process is led by the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC), co-chaired by the United States and Brazil for the remainder of the negotiations. (34) One of the challenges for businesses is to be outside a new trading bloc or to have the “rules” governing their sector change as a result of new trade agreements. In recent decades, bilateral and multilateral trade agreements have multiplied. It is often referred to as the “spaghetti bowl” of bilateral and multilateral global trade agreements, because agreements are not linear strands that do well; Instead, they are a chaotic mix of cross strands, like a bowl of spaghetti that connects countries and trading blocs into self-profit trading alliances. Companies need to monitor and navigate these developing trade agreements to ensure that one or more agreements do not have a negative impact on their businesses in key countries.
This is one of the reasons why global companies have teams of internal experts overseeing the WTO and regional trade alliances. Mexico stood out the best from NAFTA because of the dramatic increase in trade. Maquiladoras in Mexico recorded an annual increase of 15% in income. Overall, Canadians have supported NAFTA and exports to the region have increased since its implementation. “Trilateral trade has almost tripled since NAFTA came into force in 1994. It reached a trillion dollars in 2008. Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, “Fast Facts: North American Free Trade Agreement,” December 15, 2009, called December 30, 2010 www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/nafta-alena/fast_facts-faits_saillants.aspx?lang=eng.