Kevin J. Fandl


This Article brings to the attention of those public servants involved in

the design and negotiation of free trade agreements between the United

States and developing countries, such as Colombia, the potential benefits

and drawbacks of negotiating in a bilateral forum. Rather than critiquing

the free trade agreement for its particular provisions, this Article

examines the U.S. policy of negotiating bilaterally with developing

countries as opposed to multilaterally in the world trade system and what

effects such an approach might have on the economic development of the

latter. Using an incremental policy analysis, the Article critiques the

bilateral approach in terms of economic development and fair trade

negotiations using the recent Colombia-U.S. trade agreement as a case

study. The Article concludes that a bilateral approach that is disconnected

from a broader multilateral context may be detrimental to developing

countries and recommends increased oversight of such agreements by the

World Trade Organization to ensure a higher degree offairness.