(José Niño – PanAm Post)
In a little under three months, the Pacific Alliance is set to celebrate its four-year anniversary. Founded on April 28, 2011, the Pacific Alliance is a trade bloc whose main is goal is to promote greater integration among its members through free trade.
Comprised of countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile, the Pacific Alliance represents a fundamentally different model of economic integration when compared to the Venezuela-backed ALBA and Brazil-dominated Mercosur. All four of these members have thoroughly rejected the populist model of protecting industries from foreign competition, instead opening themselves up to free trade and commerce.
Unfortunately, Latin America’s history has been marked by multiple PanAmerican schemes to integrate the region that end up failing time and time again. Arguments abound for why these measures fail: Cultural factors, US imperialism, and geographical constraints are regularly cited. But these explanations are deterministic, making the region seem like a victim of circumstances and not like the sole owner of its destiny, which it is. Ultimately, Latin America’s failure or otherwise to develop and integrate is its own responsibility. Click here to read more.