Thu Dec 12, 2002 1:27 pm

Causalidad en TLC


Recuerdo los tiempos en que aparecieron las pruebas de causalidad
en econometría, en ese entonces se abrió una discusión abstracta
bastante interesante sobre el tema. Esto del TLC USA/Chile me parece
un caso interesante.

Muchos analistas lo ven como resultado (causado por) la política
económica del gobierno chileno, pero el artículo del Washignton Post
parece poner la causalidad en reversa, entonces la realización de un
TLC o no, está mas en manos de la cancilleria americana que en
cualquier otra cancilleria.

Farid Matuk


U.S., Chile Agree on Free Trade
Bilateral Pacts Are Special Focus of Bush Administration

By Paul Blustein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 12, 2002; Page A42

The United States reached a free-trade agreement with Chile
yesterday, the second such pact in less than a month as the Bush
administration seeks to increase the number of trade deals with
individual countries around the world.

The long-sought accord, which is subject to congressional approval,
followed the Nov. 19 announcement that the United States and
Singapore had “completed the substance” of a free-trade arrangement.
U.S. negotiators turn next to discussions with five Central American
nations, Morocco, Australia and several southern African states.
Over the long term, the administration is pursuing a Free Trade Area
of the Americas to cover the Western Hemisphere, except for Cuba.

Up to now, only four countries have joined the United States in free-
trade deals — Canada and Mexico (under the North American Free
Trade Agreement), Israel, and Jordan. Under such accords, tariffs
are phased out on most goods traded between the participating
nations. The U.S.-Chile pact, for example, would eliminate tariffs
in the first year on more than 85 percent of the two-way trade in
consumer and industrial goods. After 12 years no duties would be
imposed on any products traded between the two countries.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick said the agreement with
Chile — one of Latin America’s most free-market-oriented nations —
was “a partnership for creating economic opportunities for both

But from the American perspective, such agreements are relatively
unimportant in terms of their direct impact on the $10.5 trillion
U.S. economy. The administration is aggressively pursuing them
nonetheless as a device for cementing ties with certain nations and
as part of an overall strategy aimed at lowering trade barriers

A fact sheet distributed by Zoellick’s office cited a study that
said a U.S.-Chile free-trade accord would add $4.2 billion to the
U.S. gross domestic product by increasing the exports of American
firms. That figure, while large in absolute terms, is about 0.04
percent of U.S. output.

Still, the agreement is an important step forward for the
administration’s trade agenda, especially since adding Chile to
NAFTA has gotten lip service from Washington — with no concrete
results — for a long time. Zoellick recalled that he first broached
the topic with Chilean counterparts in 1991, when he was a top State
Department official.

“I was sidetracked for a few years,” Zoellick said, referring to the
period when the White House was under Democratic control and
Congress refused to grant the legislative authority that makes it
easier for U.S. trade negotiators to cut deals with other
nations. “But I’m honored that the Chileans waited until I came

The administration hopes that bilateral free-trade deals will induce
other countries to join in broader arrangements, including the Free
Trade Area of the Americas and a global round of negotiations to
lower import barriers under the auspices of the World Trade

Some trade experts say the burgeoning number of bilateral deals is
undermining the WTO, but the administration’s theory is just the
opposite. According to Zoellick, countries will be more willing to
join broader deals if rival nations sign free-trade pacts with
Washington, because they will fear losing access to the lucrative
U.S. market.

One nation that U.S. officials are particularly eager to influence
is Brazil, whose president-elect, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, was
critical of the Free Trade Area of the Americas during his
campaign. “Lula,” as he is commonly known, took a much more
conciliatory position during a visit to Washington this week, and
Zoellick said that he was convinced in his meeting with Lula
that “they’re going to treat the negotiations extremely seriously.”
But he said the U.S.-Chile accord “gives us a leg up” in the broader

One contested provision of the agreement concerned a tax Chile
imposed in the 1990s on inflows of “hot,” short-term foreign
investments — a tax credited by many economists with keeping the
country safe from the sort of financial panics that devastated other
emerging markets.

At the insistence of the U.S. Treasury, investors affected by such a
tax would have the right to sue for damages after a cooling-off
period. But some experts said it appeared that Chile would be able
to defend itself against such suits. On another key issue, the two
countries agreed that they would enforce their laws on worker rights
and the environment, with violations potentially punishable by
monetary fines paid by the offending government.

© 2002 The Washington Post Company


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