The University Record, November 16, 1992

Symposium will focus on global impact of free trade in Western Hemisphere

The global impact of free trade in the Western Hemisphere will be the focus of a two-day symposium here Friday and Saturday (Nov. 20–21).

The free, public symposium, “Issues in the Formation of a Western Hemisphere Regional Bloc,” will be held in the Hussey Room of the Michigan League.

“Now that we have reached agreement with Canada and Mexico on a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it may be useful to examine the potential for a larger pact involving all of the nations in the Western Hemisphere,” says Robert M. Stern, professor of economics and public policy, who organized the conference with Law School Prof. John H. Jackson.

“The symposium panelists will examine the economic and political consequences of a broader Western Hemisphere bloc on the three NAFTA countries as well as on other countries in the hemisphere,” Stern says. “They also will consider how a Western Hemisphere bloc will affect the structure and operation of the multilateral trading system and the impact on other national and regional trading blocs within this system.”

The Nov. 20 program, from 9 a.m.–5:15 p.m., will include presentations on economic issues, regionalism and the multilateral trading system, experiences with economic blocs, and political and social issues in the formation of a Western Hemisphere Free Trade Agreement. The Nov. 21 session, 8:30 a.m.–noon, will include general discussions.

Speakers will include scholars from the U-M, the University of Texas and the University of California, San Diego. The symposium is sponsored by the Institute of Public Policy Studies, the Department of Economics and the Law School.