Regional Integration in Latin America: Historical Developments, Current Challenges, Especially in Mercosur

14 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2018

See all articles by Paulo Roberto de Almeida

Paulo Roberto de Almeida

Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations; Centro Universitário de Brasília (UniCEUB)

Date Written: April 13, 2018

Abstract

Regional integration in Latin America has a long history dating back the wars for independence in the 19th century. Notwithstanding, there is no need, for our purposes, to go back to the autonomist struggles of Simon Bolivar and other political and military leaders at the beginning of the 19th century, and to their premature attempts to forge an alliance between the many former Spanish colonies being liberated, because those efforts were most of a political nature and did not result in any institutional innovation at that time.

At the beginning of the Eighties, a new wave of democratization touched Latin America, with the return to civilian and elected regimes, particularly in Argentina (1983) and Brazil (1985), which signaled a new emphasis on economic integration. But the European model of a common market was too much ambitious for Latin American countries, which were in a de facto preferential trade area, with the signing, a few years earlier, of the second Montevideo Treaty (1980), performing a flexible bilateral trade network among the members of the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI). The change from ALALC to ALADI was permitted by a decision under the Tokyo Round of multilateral trade negotiations (1979), which enabled developing contracting parties of the GATT system to exchange more limited trade liberalization than previously disciplined by Article 24 of GATT, which settled the rules for exceptions to the most-favored-nation clause, under the free trade or custom union formats. Mercosur was created in 1991, and since 1999 it is undergoing a structural crisis.

Keywords: Latin America, Regional Integration, Mercosur

JEL Classification: O54, P45

Suggested Citation

Almeida, Paulo Roberto de, Regional Integration in Latin America: Historical Developments, Current Challenges, Especially in Mercosur (April 13, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3182150 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3182150

Paulo Roberto de Almeida (Contact Author)

Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations ( email )

SEPN 707/909 - Campus UniCEUB
Asa Norte
Brasilia, DF 70790-075
Brazil
(55.61) 2030-6620 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.pralmeida.org

Centro Universitário de Brasília (UniCEUB) ( email )

SEPN 707/909 - Campus UniCEUB
Asa Norte
Brasilia, DF 70790-075
Brazil
(55.61) 2030-6620 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.pralmeida.org

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