Economic Integration in the Americas: A Work in Progress

Abbott, Kenneth W., Bowman, Gregory W. | January 1, 1994

In the next section of the article, we provide an overview of the major subregional groupings and other institutional relationships now being created throughout Latin America. In Section III, we suggest two major goals that should guide the process of economic integration in the Americas: maintaining the multilateral economic system as the highest priority for the region and achieving regional integration at the hemispheric level. We then outline the principal approaches to economic integration currently being followed, or proposed, within the region-including bilateral agreements, subregional groupings, the expansion of NAFrA, and arrangements of continental scaleand assess these approaches as methods of achieving the stated goals. In the final section of the article, we suggest a different approach: an institutional mechanism that would take account of current political and economic realities, yet set the Hemisphere firmly on the path to economic integration within the multilateral economic system.