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European integration and Latin American trade

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European integration and Latin American trade

Author: Izam, Miguel Physical Description: páginas. 149-162 Date: December 1993 ECLAC symbol: LC/G.1792-P


Difficult as it is to forecast the magnitude of the impact of the Single European Market (SEM); on the rest of the world and on the European Community (EC); itself, the predominant feeling is one of concern, especially in the developing countries. This article seeks to determine how the completion of the SEM may affect Latin America's exports to the Community, using basically a short- and medium-term analytical approach. This is because a series of elements make it possible to predict with some confidence that the deepening of Community integration will take more time than originally foreseen. Especially noteworthy among these elements is the need for the EC to carry out an economic adjustment, for which purpose it will be necessary to coordinate the macroeconomic policies of its member countries more effectively and to resolve various important political problems, starting with the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty. In any event, it is reasonable to assume that, in the long run, the economic implications of the SEM for the rest of the world, including Latin America, will be positive. Section I of the article discusses the most probable effects of the deepening of European integration on the EC itself and on the rest of the world in the short and medium term. Section II examines the structural weakening of trade links between Latin America and the Twelve in recent decades and identifies the key reasons for this phenomenon, while Section III summarizes the effects that the SEM may have on Latin America's trade in the foreseeable future, which, unlike the Single Market's positive impact in the long term, may not be beneficial for Latin America.