Towards NAFTA: A North African Free Trade Agreement?

by Jerrold D. Green, Cynthia Tindell

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If, as some argue, conflict between the Islamic world and the West is on the horizon, then the frontline of such disputes is in the Mediterranean area, where North Africa and southern Europe meet. The fear of increased migration from North Africa into southern Europe co-exists with an inevitable growth in anti-Arab feeling by some Europeans whose own economies are less than robust. As France, Spain, and Italy assume the presidency of the European Union over the next two years, a valuable opportunity to initiate a dialogue on how best to promote the economic and political stability of Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco should also emerge. This paper analyzes the degree to which the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among the United States, Canada, and Mexico may offer insights and possible solutions to help promote stronger trade among the states of the Mediterranean while at the same time establishing stabilizing economic links among them.

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