with Mexico’s NATFA partners.
5b1. . The response of the US government to the political changes in South Africa and to some economic gains in such countries as Uganda has been the African Growth and Opportunity Act. While the Act is commendable in that it is indicative of the first coherent and high level interest shown to Africa in many years, it has been subjected to severe criticism by those on the left of the US political spectrum, such as Jesse Jackson, Jr., who see it as a new form of US corporate colonialism. The Act is an explicit effort to bring Africa more integrally into the orbit of the global economy, and does this through the “trade not aid” approach that has had considerable success in Latin America. The US would expand preferential trade treatment in exchange for reforms in political processes and economic practices. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation would extend loan guarantees to the private sector and for infrastructure investments in the amount of $650 million.xxxv The response from Jackson has been the Hope for Africa Act that would extend debt relief and increased aid rather than the inducements offered by the Clinton administration to expand a market based orientation of the African economy.
5c2.. Canada’s interest in Latin America was quite minimal until late in the late 1960’s. With the election of Pierre Trudeau as Prime Minister in 19868, however, a serious reconsideration of the area was undertaken – described by one scholar as the first in the history of the Department of External Affairs.xxxvi This was largely due to the government’s desire to reduce its dependence upon the United States. During the Trudeau years (1968-1984, with a short break in 1980 for the government of Joe Clark) the Foreign Investment Review Act, the National Energy Policy, and an aggressive position with regard to the cultural goods sector were among the “nationalist” initiatives adopted. In the area of trade relations Secretary for External Affairs Mitchell Sharp advanced the Third Option (1972), an effort to diversify Canada’s trade from the US to the European Community and the Pacific Rim. For Canada-Latin America relations this was a period of fact-finding missions and of efforts to fashion a coherent policy, however, permanent observer status at the Organization for American States was obtained in 1972. The overthrow of Salvatore Allende in 1973 made an approach to Chile difficulty but it began a period in which human rights became on the most important factors in Canada’s policy toward Latin America. In the 1980’s events in Central America drew Canada in as an actor, perhaps in response to pressure from non-governmental and religious groups.
The Mulroney governments (1984-1993) were able to build on the initial work done during the 1970’s and Canada’s policy became more focussed and coherent. The Trudeau government felt the need to reduce its dependency on the US and sought engagement elsewhere, including initiating an examination of the relationship with Latin America. However, Prime Minister Mulroney sought actively to bring Canada and the US closer together, most dramatically with the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement, and then felt the need for a counterweight to the US influence so as to