In This Review

The United States and Chile: Coming in from the Cold
The United States and Chile: Coming in from the Cold
By David R. Mares and Francisco Rojas Aravena
Routledge, 2001, 192 pp

A competent, if dry, account of U.S.-Chilean relations since the end of the Cold War. Today, the dependence of Latin America's most successful economic model on the United States is surprisingly limited. This unique relationship, the authors argue, gives Chile greater flexibility than other Latin American countries. Hence Santiago has been unafraid to disagree with U.S. policy on a number of important issues, including human rights, civil-military relations, and military procurement. Instances when Chile does cooperate with the United States often reflect its own development strategies rather than a response to U.S. pressure. Also discussed is Chile's desire for a free trade agreement with the United States, which has been promised but repeatedly delayed because Washington remains unwilling to spend political capital to achieve this goal. The small size of the Chilean market (13 million consumers) has not been enough to convince U.S. exporters to lobby hard for free trade, while many U.S. industries fear competition from Chile and have thus been well organized in opposing it. The authors conclude that strong executive pressure in the United States -- which was absent during the Clinton administration -- is necessary to break that logjam.