A study sponsored by the regional United Nations agency ECLAC suggests that anti-globalisation and rural activists are wrong to blame NAFTA for most of the ills that afflict the Mexican countryside.
The greatest feat of the Group of 20 (G20) developing nations is to have survived as a key actor in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) multilateral trade negotiations, despite its heterogeneous nature and the diverse interests of its members.
Many of the hurdles facing South America's Mercosur trade bloc in its attempts to deepen the integration process have to do with the gap between its ambitious aims and the institutions and other instruments that have been put in place to achieve those goals.
The African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries need proof that development truly is at the forefront of negotiators' minds at the World Trade Organisation talks in Hong Kong next week, says a leading European parliamentarian.
Venezuela's admission to South America's Mercosur trade bloc - which is not as imminent as was previously announced - is backed by economic sectors keen on gaining access to oil under preferential terms.
Small island states have learnt to fear more than a tsunami. They are preparing themselves for being swamped by a tidal wave of devastating imports if world trade ministers cannot come to an agreement that protects their interests.
In a bold new move, business leaders from Commonwealth countries have proposed a free trade area of their own if the Hong Kong summit next month fails to deliver a trade agreement.
The Commonwealth heads of government meeting taking place in Malta from Friday this week could turn out to be the most definite indication yet that little can be expected at the world trade ministers meeting in Hong Kong next month.
Trade agreements are one thing and integration is another, "so dissatisfaction with the former should not deter us from the latter," according to Allan Wagner, secretary-general of the Andean Community, who is trying to paper over the cracks in Latin America's oldest trade bloc.
Most of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean want a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), even in a less ambitious form, as opposed to a handful of nations - albeit an economically powerful minority - that reject the idea.
If the fourth Summit of the Americas left anything clear, it is the difficulty of reaching agreement on a concept of integration in the region.
As European Union trade chief Peter Mandelson prepares to kick off a new phase of trade negotiations in the Caribbean this week, trade groups are asking the bloc to shelve regional agreements in order to avoid a "development disaster".
Recent developments in international trade highlight the difficulties facing the 15-member Caribbean Community (Caricom) as it prepares for a key World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting in Hong Kong this December.