In This Review

Safeguards and Antidumping in Latin American Trade Liberalization
Safeguards and Antidumping in Latin American Trade Liberalization
By J. Michael Finger, Julio J. Nogues
Palgrave Macmillan, 2005, 256 pp

Sometimes one step backward is two steps forward. The smart scholar-practitioners, mostly Latin Americans, who prepared this compelling volume find that regional policymakers have made judicious use of carefully targeted protection for sensitive industries in order to diffuse political pressures and safeguard the sweeping liberalization that has taken place in Latin American trade policy over the past quarter century. But it is the discipline of the World Trade Organization that has been crucial in preventing these exceptional, short-lived protectionist measures from decaying into a generalized economic isolationism; despite recent strains, the seven Latin American countries studied here (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Peru) are eschewing another cycle of protection. WTO rules have been substituted for ad hoc, personalistic decision-making, providing a template for objectivity, the public notice of criteria, and fair access to information for all interested parties -- important contributions to regulatory efficiency and anticorruption. Not surprisingly, sound macroeconomic policy and broad public support for openness are contextual factors aiding success. With justifiable pride, the authors provide credible evidence that Latin American policymakers have improved on WTO rules in several creative ways.