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Argentina and Brazil Grow Together

Why the Countries Should Embrace Trade—and Each Other

The Acu Port in São João da Barra, Brazil, June 2016.  Ricardo Moraes / Reuters

This year has been a rough one for South America’s two largest states. Brazil—once lauded as a rising global power—has fallen deeper into recession and political turmoil. And although Argentina is finally attempting to transform itself into a model of sober pro-market governance after years of Peronist populism, it shares with its northern neighbor a grim set of economic and political indicators: stagnating growth, endemic corruption, and a new government beset by high expectations. As a result, Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s initially high approval ratings have declined since he took office in December. In Brazil, meanwhile, interim President Michel Temer comes close in unpopularity to the disgraced Dilma Rousseff.

Despite their undeniable problems, however, there remains in both countries a cause for optimism. Argentina and Brazil are, for now, absorbed in their own domestic dramas, but they have within easy reach the long-term solution to their

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