v8n2_14 - BOOK REVIEWS How Free are Latin American...

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The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations BOOK REVIEWS How Free are Latin American Countries When Choosing Trade Strategies? by Zaida L. Martinez Vinod K. Aggarwal, Ralph Espach, and Joseph S. Tulchin, eds, The Strategic Dynamics of Latin American Trade , Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2004. 294 pp. US$29.95, paper, ISBN 0-8047-4900-0 T he last twenty years have given rise to a proliferation of regional economic arrangements in Latin America. Using the concept of strategic choice within the context of trade policies, Aggarwal, Espach and Tulchin present an analysis of the wide range of trade agreements and their implications for particular countries in the region. The editors begin by presenting a theoretical foundation for strategic trade choices, followed by a presentation of how political and economic interests at the national and international levels affect trade choices. They then apply the theoretical framework to case studies of four major countries in the region—Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. The final section provides conclusions and prospects for future national trade policies. Aggarwal and Espach introduce their theoretical framework for understanding trade relations in Chapter 1. Their basic premise is that governments have choices regarding trade strategies, albeit choices which entail economic and political trade- offs. By contrasting the tradeoffs associated with different trade strategies, Aggarwal and Espach are able to demonstrate how four major countries in Latin America have developed different trade profiles: Argentina as a regional partner, Brazil as a regional leader, Chile as a multilateral trader, and Mexico as a hub market. Zaida L. Martinez is a Professor of International Business and Co-Director of the Southern Cone Studies Program at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas. She received her Ph.D from the University of South Carolina, and holds an MBA from Florida State University. She has also served as an internationalization consultant for the University of Puerto Rico, the Alamo Community College District, and Georgetown College. 151
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MARTINEZ The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations The theoretical framework is complemented by Tulchin’s discussion regarding how diverging domestic interests affect a government’s trade strategy and its outcomes. Because trade strategies are affected by geopolitical considerations, Tulchin emphasizes how both “hard” and “soft” power are used in trade negotiations. As examples he notes how Brazil effectively used its size as hard power but has not been as effective in using soft power due to the government’s ambivalence over whether to pursue a regional or a global strategy. In contrast, Tulchin indicates that the Chilean government has used soft power effectively by showing a strong commitment to free trade policies and thus positioning the country favorably within a broader international community. The application of Aggarwal and Espach’s strategic framework at the national
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v8n2_14 - BOOK REVIEWS How Free are Latin American...

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