Copyright © 2003 International Development Options
All Rights Reserved
Volume Three Winter 2002-Spring 2003 Numbers 1-2.
Theme: THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WEST INDIAN COMISSION REPORT: ASSESSING THE
PROGRESS OF CARICOM NATIONS IN IMPLEMENTING THE COMMISSION'S RECOMMENDATIONS
THE CURRENT ECONOMIC STATUS OF CARICOM AND THE OECS: ASSESSING THE PROSPECTS FOR
Irma T. Alonso1
Department of Economics and the Honors College
Florida International University
Miami, Florida 33199
Published online: February 10, 2017
Despite the expressed discontent of Caribbean countries about the lack of attention that their small sizes and differences in the level of development have received from the negotiations leading towards the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), there is a high probability that very soon the FTAA will be upon us. Recently I asked a member of the administration in one of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries (anonymity requested) to give me his honest opinion about the prospects of CARICOM, and in particular OECS countries joining the FTAA. His response was, and I quote, “Do not expect the issue to be received with open arms, because the people of the Windward Islands are miffed about the banana issue. Again, many will feel that there is nothing in the FTAA for economies like us. They feel that it is something that is being pushed down our throats by more powerful countries and that we will not have a true voice in what is going on.”
The primary purpose of this article is to examine the prospects of CARICOM and the OECS countries joining the FTAA. The article will explore the economic conditions of the island members of CARICOM as a first step in analyzing the probability of CARICOM members formally joining the FTAA. We will also analyze what each one of these nations will bring to the market, and their prospects of expanding trade within the Western Hemisphere.