During the last decades the trade with agricultural products in Latin America has changed dramatically. For some countries like Argentina and Chile, this change represents a major shift from dependency on imports or self-sufficiency, to export orientation. The expansion of trade did not happen by accident, it was pursued through the liberalization of trade and the implementation of a set of policies denominated as the Washington Consensus. The advocates of the Washington Consensus identified agriculture as one of the economic sectors that had most to gain from liberalization. More than 20 years of liberalization have passed and a thorough restructuring of agriculture has taken place. In Argentina and Chile, a sustained trade expansion started during the second half of the 1990s, creating a positive balance in the trade with dairy products. Is the expansion of trade caused only by trade liberalization? Are there other important causes? What can we learn from these experiences? These are some of the questions answered by this article.
2009. 413-421 p.