Courting the South: Lula’s Trade Diplomacy

Serie Documentos de Trabajo, Documento Nro. 430

52 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2010

See all articles by Sybil Rhodes

Sybil Rhodes

Universidad del CEMA

Gabriel Ondetti

Missouri State University

Date Written: September 2010

Abstract

Scholarly consensus regarding Brazil’s Lula government characterizes its economic policy as surprisingly conservative but its foreign policy as roughly in line with the traditionally leftist principles of the Workers’ Party. While broadly accurate, this perspective tells us little about trade diplomacy, which cuts across these two policy areas. In this article we explain why Lula’s trade diplomacy has hewed much more closely to his broader foreign policy strategy than his economic model, despite the critical role of trade in Brazil’s recent economic growth. We argue that two key factors have lowered the costs of adopting a combative, South-South orientation, allowing Lula to use trade diplomacy as a tool for appealing to party loyalists. One is the inherently muted short-term impact of trade diplomacy on key macro-economic outcomes. The other is the failure of the traditional trading powers to offer the incentives necessary to successfully conclude the major North-South trade talks they had initiated.

Suggested Citation

Rhodes, Sybil and Ondetti, Gabriel, Courting the South: Lula’s Trade Diplomacy (September 2010). Serie Documentos de Trabajo, Documento Nro. 430 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1684746 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1684746

Sybil Rhodes (Contact Author)

Universidad del CEMA ( email )

1054 Buenos Aires
Argentina

Gabriel Ondetti

Missouri State University ( email )

901 South National Avenue
Springfield, MO 65897
United States

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