On the Benefits (or “Benefits”) of Mercosur

An Argentine study suggests Brazil is the only country to have generated a surplus via Mercosur. However, the report does not necessarily paint the picture of Brazil-as-bully. Rather, Orlando Ferres argues,

The Brazilian [sic] are far better organized that the other members and have obtained very good results from Mercosur both in surplus terms as in attracting direct investments that preferred the huge market, the continuous reliable economic policy, greater orthodoxy and long term coherence with no defaults or sovereign debt ‘shavings’ compared to the other three members, particularly Argentina.

The study goes on to outline other arguments against Mercosur membership. It’s not the first study of its kind to criticize the trade bloc, and it does paint a dour picture that I wonder if others would share and why/why not. Nonetheless, while the final or authoritative voice on the matter, it does make some compelling arguments for the need to abandon Mercosur. While I’d like to see other studies that provide alternative views, the fact that Mercosur was created in 1991 when Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and especially Brazil were all in a far different position both in terms of domestic economies and global trade relations, it’s hard not to think that perhaps the original intentions, purposes, or functions of Mercosur need some significant reforms.

About Colin M. Snider

I have a Ph.D. in history, specializing in Latin American History and Comparative Indigenous History. My dissertation focused on Brazil. Beyond Latin America generally, I'm particularly interested in class identities, military politics, human rights, labor, education, music, and nation. I can be found on Twitter at @ColinMSnider.
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