The diversity of Latin American trade agreements established since the mid-1980s reflects a broadening range of strategic perceptions and orientations. The argument of this volume is that this increasing divergence among the arrangements reflects fundamental and growing differences among their broader strategic perceptions and political and economic objectives. These, in turn, are grounded in each country’s economic profile, the institutional configuration of its trade policy process, and the constraints and opportunities policymakers perceive at the domestic and international levels.

The opening chapter in this volume provides a theoretical framework that highlights the political-economic tradeoffs entailed in different trade strategies. The remaining chapters in sections I and II focus on domestic and international constraints involved in the formulation, pursuit, and implementation of trade policies. The last half of the volume contains detailed, empirically grounded studies of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and the dynamics of Mercosur.

Vinod Aggarwal is professor of political science, affiliated professor of business and public policy in the Haas School of Business, and director of the Berkeley Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Study Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Ralph H. Espach is a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley. Joseph S. Tulchin is the director of the Latin America Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center.


Tables and Figures

Part I: Institutional and Political Elements of Trade Policy
1. Diverging Trade Strategies in Latin America: A Framework for Analysis
Vinod K. Aggarwal and Ralph Espach
2. Using Soft Power to Enhance Trade Strategies
Joseph S. Tulchin

Part II: The Political Economy of International Trade in the Americas
3. The Dynamics of State–Business Relations in the Formulation of Latin American Trade
Sylvia Maxfield
4. The FTAA: Trade Preferences and the Art of the Possible
Carol Wise
5. The Proliferation of Regional Trade Agreements in the Americas: An Assessment of Key Issues
José M. Salazar-Xirinachs

Part III: Comparing Trade Strategies in the Americas
6. Argentina’s Foreign Trade Strategy: The Curse of Asymmetric Integration in the World Economy
Eduardo R. Ablin and Roberto Bouzas
7. Regional and Transregional Dimensions of Brazilian Trade Policy
Pedro da Motta Veiga
8. Chile’s Multidimensional Trade Policy
Osvaldo Rosales
9. Mexico’s Trade Policy: Vision and Improvisation
Antonio Ortiz Mena L.N.
10. Trade Strategies in the Context of Economic Regionalism: The Case of Mercosur
Alcides Costa Vaz

Part IV: Conclusion and Prospects
11. Conclusions
Vinod K. Aggarwal, Ralph Espach, and Joseph S. Tulchin


“The major contribution that this important book offers is a full consideration of the strategic dimensions of the trade policies pursued by Latin America’s largest economies. Policy-makers, students and scholars interested in Latin American trade issues will find this book a valuable addition to their libraries and an invaluable reference tool.”—International Affairs

“The editors provide synthesis and some concluding remarks in the final chapter to what is an impressively coherent volume.”—Latin American Research Review

“This book offers an important, timely, and unique perspective on trade policy in Latin America. Academics, students, and practitioners will welcome it, both for the useful political economy theoretical framework and for the cogent and informative analyses of individual countries and regional groupings.”—Maxwell Cameron, University of British Columbia