AFTA talks stalled

The U.S., Ecuador, Peru and Colombia have hit an impasse in negotiations for an Andean Free Trade Agreement.

The Andean pact includes many of the components that made CAFTA so contentious.

Intellectual property provisions in the deal would delay the entry of cheap generic drugs into these countries—a huge sticking point thus far for Andean nations, with Ecuador making the most humane demands with its requested changes.

In addition, the U.S. won’t budge on agricultural rules that would allow massive dumping of U.S. crops. These NAFTA-style agricultural rules are expected to have a similar impact for Andean farmers that NAFTA had for Mexican farmers—which resulted in 1.5 million of them losing their livelihoods.

There are also labor concerns that dominated the tumultuous CAFTA debate.

"This trade deal is simply unacceptable; more trade unionists have been murdered in Colombia than in the rest of the world combined," said Thea Lee, policy director for the AFL-CIO.

Like CAFTA, there is a lack of meaningful and enforceable labor protections for workers in the Andean deal.