"At the Summit of the Americas held in December 1994, 34 hemispheric democracies agreed to create a 'Free Trade Area of the Americas' (FTAA) no later than 2005. If created, the FTAA would be a $13 trillion market of 34 countries (Cuba is not included) and nearly 800 million people. The population alone would make it the largest free trade area in the world with more than twice the 375 million of the now 15-nation European Union. In the 8 years following the 1994 summit, Western Hemisphere trade ministers have met seven times to advance the negotiating process. At the sixth meeting in Buenos Aires in April 2001, ministers made public a draft FTAA agreement that included preliminary chapters on all nine negotiating groups: market access, agriculture, intellectual property rights, services, investment, government procurement, competition policy, dispute settlement, and subsidies. Since the seventh Ministerial held in Quito, Ecuador in November 2002, the United States and Brazil have assumed co-chairmanship of the negotiations. How these two countries resolve their outstanding differences will have a huge bearing on the outcome of the FTAA process."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB95017
U.S. Department of State: http://fpc.state.gov/