chapter  6
32 Pages

The Infl uence of Academia on Mercosur’s Tariff Policy


The initiative to set up a customs union between Argentina and Brazil emerged in 1989 when the recently elected presidents Carlos Menem and Fernando Collor de Mello pledged to continue the trade integration process begun under previous governments.2 Though Mercosur’s creation marked certain continuity with the Economic Integration and Cooperation Program (PICE) of the 1980s,3 there is an important difference between the two in terms of their underlying philosophies and the instruments through which trade liberalization was conceived (Lavagna, 2001a). The PICE sought industrial and commercial complementarity, inducing specialization in niches and product lines by means of what was called protocols. Mercosur, by contrast, sought to create an enlarged market that would make it possible to attract trade and investment fl ows in an international context where the multilateral Uruguay Round faced serious diffi culties in moving forward.