oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Prospects for integration in the Americas: MERCOSUL, NAFTA and the FTAA

Volume 31, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



From a juridical standpoint, we have seen that the USA does not have a legal framework conducive to the acceptance of the rule of law in international relations. International agreements are situated under federal laws in the US constitutional order. US laws implementing trade accords consistently renege on commitments of single undertaking by subjecting the validity of such treaties to provisions not conflicting with US federal law, such as in the cases of NAFTA and the WTO. In addition, in the case of the proposed FTAA, the lack of fast track authority complicates matters even further and results in serious questions as to the credibility of US motives. In Brazil, from a strict constitutional law perspective, the agreement(s) eventually governing the FTAA would present major violations of the constitutional legal order and, as a result, most likely be successfully challenged in court. The exclusion of Cuba from the FTAA would be a violation of the non-intervention and self-determination principles. Thus, for a number of reasons one can comfortably predict the foundering of the FTAA. Conversely, on can predict the consolidation and expansion of MERCOSUL.

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