My WAG: The Andean Community and Mercosur are in the process of merging into a new South American Community of Nations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_American_Community), modeled on the European Union, which will include all South American states but French Guiana. Maybe the South Americans want to get that established first, then negotiate trade with the U.S. as a unified bloc, on terms closer to their own.
I believe that Bush said he’d drop US agriculture subsidies only if Europe dropped theirs. So…doubtful this is going anywhere if thats the stopper as I don’t see Europe doing any such thing (could be wrong here…haven’t looked at Europes position lately though haven’t heard its changed either). I think its pretty much dead for now.
No, there’s no sign that the Andean community and Mercosur are merging. Not only that, but there’s little sign that the states of Mercosur are particularly eager to get that tied up to their somewhat dysfunctional (even by South American standards) brethren to the west. It really is mainly about subsidies.
As for the FTAA being dead, no, not really. Just tabled, albeit for a while. Everyone wants to see how the Doha rounds go, because ag subsidies are going to be a major theme there, too. If things go well at Doha, then it will likely rejuvenate the FTAA talks.
If things go well at Doha, would the FTAA even be necessary? What exactly will be on the table at Doha?
Furthermore – the next round of FTAA talks, if they ever happen, would then take place another year or two down the road, after the SACN has had more time to get integrated, which would change the playing field – wouldn’t it?