Since its creation by the Treaty of Asunción in 1991, the regional trade association of MERCOSUR has been plagued by financial crises in its member states. Yet it continues, albeit slowly, to meet its objectives. To its four full members (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay) it has already added Chile and Bolivia as associate members, and continues its negotiations with the Andean Community and even with Mexico.
This book by a leading authority on the subject is the first full-length analysis of the viability of MERCOSUR as an effective engine of economic development. Drawing on vast reservoirs of expertise and insight, Professor Guira considers the phenomenon of MERCOSUR in all its real-world and theoretical contexts, from forces inherent in Latin American history to its role in a global trading regime dominated by the WTO, the IMF, the EU, and NAFTA. He provides in-depth commentary on the nexus between the economic crises of member states (particularly Brazil and Argentina) and the multiple and complex linkages that animate MERCOSUR¿s continuing and distinct identity. He finds that, despite the modest effect to date of MERCOSUR on the economic development of its member states, the laws and institutions that characterise the organisation are now sufficiently established to weather the confidence-building challenge that must be met and overcome if the major Latin American nations are to play a role in global commerce that matches their enormous economic significance.
Every scholar, practitioner, official, and policymaker working anywhere in the fields of international trade law or international relations must read this book. In putting together the world trade puzzle, players often find that the MERCOSUR piece is missing or incomplete. With the publication of this book, a major deficiency is fully remedied.
1. Introduction and Background to an Analysis of MERCOSUR¿s Role as a Legal Instrument of Development: Defining the Scope and Scale of the Issues. I. Introduction. II. Core Parameters and Dimensions of MERCOSUR: What Is It? III. Core Historical Antecedents and the Coherence of the Founders¿ Initial Policy Objectives: Inquiring into How the Intellectual, Economic, and Legal Roots of the MERCOSUR Concept are Prologue to the Founding and Current Consolidation of the Project. IV. Policy Arguments For and Against MERCOSUR as a Law Reform Process Leading to Growth and Development: Using Law and Social Science Based Research Methods to Understand a Complex, Multidimensional Phenomenon. V. Methodology¿Core Legal Benchmarks for Compliance: How to Analyse MERCOSUR as a Modern Comparative and International Law System. VI. Concluding Observations: How the Above Elements Fit Together. 2: The Role of Law and Institutions in the Overall Framework: Is it Possible to Form a Cohesive MERCOSUR? I. Historical Hazards I: The Primacy of Politics over Law and the Need for Sound Governance Structures. II. Historical Hazards II: The Failure of Integration Due to Inability to Harmonise Conflicting Law and Policy Objectives. III. Historical Hazards III and IV: Trade and Foreign Investment. IV. Critical External Environmental Dimensions: The Market and Institutions Effect on Discipline. V. Theoretical Observations on Whether the MERCOSUR Differences Are Enough: Assessing the Legal and Institutional Design and Evidence of Sound Implementation to Date: Using the Four Step Test. 3: Trade in Goods and Non-Financial Services: How Do Deepening and Widening the Legal and Institutional Infrastructure of MERCOSUR Contribute to Development? I. Objectives of Legal and Economic Development¿ Reconciling the Design of Progressive Liberalisation with the Reality of Challenging Economic Circumstances. II. From Customs Union Regional Integration to an Exploration of Various Arrangements. III. Membership and the Drive for an FTAA. IV. Linkages to MERCOSUR. V. Linkages beyond MERCOSUR. VI. The US Role, NAFTA and the EU Counterbalance in a Global Context. VII. The Role of the WTO as Disciplining Force. VIII. Assessment: Applying the Four Way Test. 4: MERCOSUR and the Search for Financial Stability I: Challenges of Financial Integration and Macro-economic Co-ordination in the Aftermath of Economic Decline and the Brazilian Financial Crisis. I. MERCOSUR and the Brazilian Crisis: Limitations and Opportunity. II. MERCOSUR¿s Modest Role in Financial Integration and its Limited Role in Resolving Crisis as an Agent of Financial Sector Strengthening and of Macro-economic Co-ordination. III. The Regional Legal Framework for Macro-economic Co-ordination and the Financial Law System. IV. The Member State Financial Law Systems and Implementing Institutions. V. MERCOSUR¿s Role in Financial Sector Strengthening and Building a Robust Financial Law System: Developing Core Regional Parameters for Integration. 5: Building MERCOSUR Financial Stability II: International Financial Institutions, Core Financial Architectural Parameters and their Application in Relieving the Brazilian Crisis and in MERCOSUR Legal and Institutional Reform. I. The Pre-eminent Role of the International Financial Institutions in the Global Financial Crisis Setting and the Emerging Role of MERCOSUR in Regional Crisis Prevention and Resolution. II. History of and Development of the Brazilian Crisis. III. The Crisis Unfolds and the Response to it from the International Community. IV. The International Financial Architecture and the Brazilian Reform Program: Do the Five Pillars of the New Architecture Really Matter? V. The MERCOSUR Macro-economic Co-ordination Programme and the Remodeling of the Regional Financial Architecture. VI. The Core Benchmarks: Operating Considerations that MERCOSUR Must Address to Play a Positive Role in Maintaining Confidence in the Financial System and Thereby Prevent and Contain Crisis.