Economic Integration in Latin America.
The process of economic integration in Latin America has played an important role in the economic history and development of the region, specially after the Second World War. As from the second half of the 20th Century, the degree of progress attained by national industries made it difficult for manufactured products to compete in markets of both developed and developing countries. Thus, an expansion of the market through a process of integration of the Latin American economies was considered. The formation of a common market, supplied mainly by regional industries, would provide economic solutions to many of Latin America's problems. .
Because of this, the first treaties of economic integration started appearing and evolving accordingly with the political and economic development of each nation. Economic growth geared bilateral commerce relations, while economic and political crisis lead to international isolation and delayed the integration processes. .
After the Second World War, integration assumed concrete form in plans of varying degrees of success, the Central American Common Market, the Latin American Free Trade Agreement, and the Andean Pact, to list some. Since the 1980s, integration schemes have developed with greater force, perhaps encouraged by the formation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which in 1994 added Mexico as its third member, along with the United States and Canada. In a parallel development, the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay formed the Common Market of the South (Mercado Comun del Sur, MERCOSUR), with Chile and Bolivia as associate members. By these means, perhaps in altered form, economic integration will certainly continue to develop on the countries of the region.
In this paper, I will analyze the creation and success of one of this treaties, MERCOSUR, and look at some of its advantages and disadvantages.