Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 02/2009

Más allá de lo económico: Los objetivos estratégicos de los TLCs de Chile y México

Leslie Wehner

January 2009

German Institute of Global and Area Studies


Beyond Economic Logic: The Strategic Goals of Chile's and Mexico's FTAs

This article analyzes the "other" goals that drive Chile and Mexico to achieve intra- and extra-regional FTAs. These countries have a predominantly economic motivation to negotiate FTAs. However, there are other elements that are less apparent, but equally important, in Chile's and Mexico's FTA policies. These accords can also be seen as means to power and as mechanisms for establishing a closer system of global economic governance than that available through multilateral forums. Therefore, these two countries' FTAs are an ad hoc system that represents their respective economic contexts and realities. In other words, FTAs as an essential part of Chile's and Mexico's foreign policies have a strategic political-economic logic that synthesizes the notions of power and institutions. However, these two forces do not exclude of the economic logic for FTAs, which focuses on the maximization of consumers' welfare and producers' gains. On the contrary, they have to be taken as complementary factors.