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Handbook of Trade Policy for Development$
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Arvid Lukauskas, Robert M. Stern, and Gianni Zanini

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199680405

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199680405.001.0001

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Regionalism in the Americas at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century: NAFTA and Mercosur *

Regionalism in the Americas at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century: NAFTA and Mercosur *

Chapter:
(p.607) Chapter 19 Regionalism in the Americas at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century: NAFTA and Mercosur*
Source:
Handbook of Trade Policy for Development
Author(s):

Edward D. Mansfield

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199680405.003.0019

Edward Mansfield examines the establishment, institutional design, political economy, and economic and political effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Mercosur. Both agreements have met with some success, but face continuing challenges. NAFTA confronts various agricultural, illegal immigration, and environmental issues that have strained relations among the member states. For its part, Mercosur has few mechanisms for institutionalization, and any further expansion will be difficult if new states have different policy preferences. Both agreements feature one particularly large country, and smaller participants have bridled at the tendency for these regional hegemons to discount the interests of other member states. However, the experiences of NAFTA and Mercosur suggest that preferential trade agreements help to defuse conflicts and stabilize political relations among members and illustrate how preferential trade agreements can be used to foster economic and political reform in participating countries and limit the ability of states to roll back reforms.

Keywords:   NAFTA, Mercosur, preferential trade agreement, political economy, agriculture, regionalism, economic reform

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