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Contexto Internacional

Print version ISSN 0102-8529On-line version ISSN 1982-0240

Abstract

CASTELAN, Daniel. Domestic coalitions in the FTAA negotiations: the Brazilian case. Contexto int. [online]. 2016, vol.38, n.1, pp.313-348.  Epub May 10, 2016. ISSN 1982-0240.  https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-8529.2016380100009.

This paper proposes an explanation to the domestic coalitions organised in Brazil around the FTAA negotiations, which stand as a hard case for the existing theories on political cleavages: industrialists and trade unions, albeit having shared common interests in the negotiations, did not adopt a joint strategy to foster their positions. The hypothesis to explain the political alignments in the FTAA is that the opening of the Brazilian market, which had advanced a lot in the years of negotiations, altered the priorities of workers and employers, as well as their preferences in foreign trade policy, hindering the reconciliation of class interests. Both agreed that the U.S. proposal for the FTAA was undesirable, but they completely disagreed on other issues that emerged in the political agenda during the reforms period, such as the role of the State in an open economy, the scope of labour and social rights and the social security system, the structure of taxation, etc. Some of the controversial issues were not new, but the international trade liberalisation intensified the dispute over them.

Keywords : Trade Negotiations; Foreign Policy; Free Trade Area of the Americas; Domestic Coalitions; Political Cleavages.

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