The story of the Free Trade Area of the Americas began -- and may well end -- in Miami. At the Summit of the Americas held here in December 1994, the heads of every nation in the hemisphere (except Fidel Castro, who was not invited) agreed to tear down trade barriers to create the largest open market in the world. Stretching from the North Pole to the Tierra del Fuego, the FTAA would include 34 nations, 800 million people, and a combined annual gross domestic product of $11 trillion. The heads of state had lofty goals when they conceived of the FTAA. In a declaration issued at the end of the summit, the leaders pledged that unfettered trade would "strengthen the community of democracies of the Americas, promote prosperity, eradicate poverty and discrimination in our hemisphere, and conserve our natural environment for... More >>>