Voluntary free trade has the potential, slowly and gradually over time, to create "general opulence" because it allows workers to acquire greater competency and specialization: in a word, workers become more productive. The creation of a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) would expand market areas and thereby potentially contribute to raising future living standards of workers. This paper seeks to analyze the theoretical basis for trade, provide an economic overview of FTAA countries, and analyze the winners and losers from trade.

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Copyright © 2001, University of Richmond School of Law. This article first appeared in Richmond Journal of Global Law and Business 2:2 (2001), 167-181.

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