The Challenges of Globalization for US Economic Leadership: the Nesting of Regionalism in Washington’s Neoliberal Trade Agenda

  • Isidro Morales
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


The core argument of this chapter is that the regionalization process formalized under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was crafted as part of a major strategy of US trade diplomacy for advancing and expanding a new market-oriented regulatory framework for dealing with the major institutional and economic transformations provoked by globalization trends. Those transformations feature the reorganization of corporate competitive strategies (mainly by multinational companies — MNCs), as well as a new disciplinary body for regulating market access in trade, investment and other related issues. In the first and second sections of this chapter I shall review the major traits featuring economic globalization and their impact on states’ authority and capabilities for managing domestic and global markets. I contend in those sections that a sort of ‘networked’ governance system seems to be looming in the productive and financial arenas, corresponding to the regionalization of markets and the networked production organized around MNCs at the global level. In the third section of this chapter I discuss how US leadership has been renewed in world economic affairs by advancing and reinforcing a principled neoliberal agenda in the emerging structures of networked governance. For the US, regional or ‘minilateral’ deals, such as NAFTA, are called for to play a major role for better internalizing global rules at the bilateral level.


European Union North American Free Trade Agreement Uruguay Round Trade Negotiation Most Favored Nation 
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Copyright information

© Isidro Morales 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isidro Morales
    • 1
  1. 1.Area of Public Administration and GovernmentInstituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de MonterreyMexico

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