Cuadernos del CLAEH
Print version ISSN 0797-6062
VAN ROMPAEY, Karen. Revising Uruguay's trade policy: towards the negotiation of a free trade agreement between Uruguay and the United States?.Translated byCristina Cafferatta. Cuad.CLAEH [online]. 2007, vol.3Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 0797-6062.
Trade policy is currently a hot topic in Uruguay. In January 2007 the Uruguayan left-wing government signed a Trade and Investment Facilitation Agreement (TIFA) with the United States. This rapprochement responds both to the aggressive bilateral strategy pursued by the US in the hemisphere since the stalling of Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations, and to Uruguay's increasing discontent with the performance of the South American Common Market (MERCOSUR). Whether the TIFA will lead to a free trade agreement (FTA) is yet to unfold. This essay explores the politics of trade underpinning the negotiation of a bilateral FTA between Uruguay and the US. Drawing from the interplay of systemic-, state-, and society-centred approaches to trade policy-making, this essay argues that doubts regarding the net gains for Uruguay, combined with the threat of being excluded from the subregional project, and the lack of consensus within the Uruguayan state-society complex, render the negotiation of a bilateral FTA unfeasible in the short term. The central explanatory variable to the understanding of trade policy-making in Uruguay is placed on the institutional constraints imposed by Uruguay's full-membership to MERCOSUR.