U.S. Economic Hegemony: Consolidation and Deepening of the Pacific Alliance Trade Bloc
In a short period of time, the Pacific Alliance has emerged as one of the leading economic integration projects in Latin America. It aims to succeed where others have failed by creating a gateway to Asian markets and building a Pacific-rim trade deal. The U.S. and Canada are both pursuing deeper ties with the group and have been granted observer status. This is part of efforts to revive and expand their presence in Latin America. In some areas of integration, the Pacific Alliance has surpassed NAFTA. By merging the two together, it could be used to fill the void left by the collapse of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).
In Latin America, there is a growing divide over the future of continental political and economic integration. Some countries have banded together to resist U.S. imperialism and any attempts to destabilize the region. There is also a move to end the destructive cycle of investment treaties and replace it with an alternative economic structure that better respects the sovereignty of nation states. The Pacific Alliance stands as a counterbalance to some of the other regional integration efforts that are trying to protect against the dangers of globalization. It is designed to signal a commitment to free trade and open markets to its neighbours and to the rest of the world. In many ways, the Pacific Alliance represents a resurgence of the failed U.S. initiated FTAA which was part of an agenda to consolidate corporate control.
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