Venezuela Would Lose 1.3 Billion Dollars a Year if FTAA is Signed

A study revealed that Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela would lose more than two billion dollars each year in import tariffs if the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas goes into effect.

Sao Paulo, Dec 25.- According to a study by the Andean Community, its member countries would lose more than two billion dollars in import tariffs each year if the proposed Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) is signed.

The Andean Community is a Latin American sub regional organization made up of Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela.

The study released by the Andean Community office in Brazil, reveals that Ecuador and Peru would lose 400 million dollars in import tariffs each year.

In the case of Venezuela, the oil exporting country would lose 1.3 billion dollars each year. Venezuela is one of the fiercest opponents of the FTAA in the way it is being currently proposed. “Signing onto the FTAA is like signing the death certificate of our courtiers,” said President Chavez last August. Chavez has proposed a different version of the treaty, which emphasizes on political and social aspects, and on the participation of the state, rather than on economic aspects controlled by private companies. Venezuela has sought to enter the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) -South America’s version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)- in order to conform a stronger FTAA negotiation block along with Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

The Andean Community study also revealed the weaknesses of the organization when trying to compete with other countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina and the service sectors of the economy.

Information from Notimex and other agencies was used in this news piece.