Summitry in the Americas

In This Review

Summitry in the Americas

By Richard E. Feinberg
Institute for International Economics, 1997
247 pp. $32.50
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A detailed insider account of the overall historical background, backroom bureaucratic struggles, and implementation procedures established by the Summit of the Americas held in Miami in December 1994, when the heads of state of the 34 democracies of the region pledged themselves to the achievement of a Free Trade Area of the Americas by 2005. As the senior staff member of the National Security Council responsible for Latin America, Feinberg took a leading role in proposing the summit and was able to overcome much bureaucratic foot-dragging in securing the administration's commitment. Feinberg argues that following the bitter struggle over NAFTA, only the "decision-forcing summit" made progress toward an FTAA possible. It would be difficult to tell from Feinberg's insider boosterism, however, that the major U.S. media networks virtually ignored the Miami Summit due to the brouhaha over Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, or that the peso collapsed two weeks after President Clinton's commendation of Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari in Miami.