Regional integration in Latin America, globalization and South-South trade
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Summary The first section sets out the historical background to the features of regional integration in Latin America between 1960 and 1990. The integration style of this region reflected the protected development models of the period, and developed slowly during the years 1960-1980. The period 1980-1990, known as the lost decade" in Latin America, is then examined, bringing to light on the one hand the retreat of economic integration in the region and on the other the beginnings of a process of political democratization which was to set the stage for renewed progress towards integration in the following decade. The second section examines the concept of open regionalism. Firstly, a brief account is given of the main features of the globalization process and of its counterpart at the national level, characterized by development styles that centre around trade liberalization, stabilization, privatization and deregulation of economic processes. This is followed by an outline of the concept of open Latin American regionalism consistent with the ground rules of global multilateralism. Thirdly, evidence is brought forward to show how integrationist initiatives have been extended to the hemisphere as a whole due to the growing involvement of the United States in the construction of free trade areas. Finally, a distinction is drawn between agreements that confine themselves to constructing free trade areas and those that seek to progress towards the stage of customs unions and common markets. The third section examines the negotiating procedures and the type of undertakings involved in the Free Trade Agreements that have been signed up to in the hemisphere. The fourth section looks at regional and inter-regional free trade agreements in the 1990s. The fifth section describes how negotiations are conducted and what type of agreements are contained in those subregional integration schemes of Latin America and the Caribbean that have the objective of setting up customs unions and common markets. The sixth and final section attempts to draw some conclusions about the role which regional integration processes play or could play in strengthening trading and economic relationships on the south-south axis and in enabling common negotiating positions to be established and consolidated on the north-south axis."