During the decade of the commodity boom (roughly the ten years to 2012) the governments of Argentina and Brazil (the two dominant members of the Mercosur trade bloc, whose other members are Paraguay and Uruguay [and Venezuela – suspended since 2016]) neglected the customs union and bickered between themselves over protective tariffs. When there was a political swing to the centre-right in Argentina (late 2015) and Brazil (mid 2016) there was a lot of talk of reviving Mercosur and making a new commitment to open trade and regional integration. But has anything really happened?

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