After coming under heavy criticism for pursuing so-called “integration” with totalitarian-minded rulers in Latin America, the governments of Chile, Peru, Mexico, and Colombia — among the best performing economies and the few remaining countries in the region not yet under complete statist domination — announced the formation of a new regional body known as the Pacific Alliance.
However, the new initiative, formally brought into being last week with the signing of an agreement by the four presidents, will not displace the growing patchwork of anti-national sovereignty schemes being erected throughout the hemisphere. Also problematic, according to critics, is the alliance’s apparent effort to court the communist dictatorship ruling mainland China under the guise of expanding trade with Asia.
The ostensible goals of the latest multilateral integration arrangement in the Americas are to expand “free trade” while promoting economic development in the four nations — among the most prosperous in the region. Other governments are welcome to join, too, and the relatively liberty-minded President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, has already requested membership.
According to press reports, the first official act to be undertaken by the Pacific Alliance is a plan to drop visa requirements for travelers and businessmen among member nations. Also on the agenda going forward: reducing or eliminating trade barriers, a supranational arbitration mechanism, and promoting increased commerce with other Asia-Pacific economies. Eventually, alliance leaders would like to enable the complete free movement of goods, capital, and citizens between member nations.
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Photo: Aerial Panoramic of Chile Coast via Shutterstock