Existing theories of economic liberalization fail to account for Mexico's experiences. Why has the Mexican government risked alienating its primary constituencies by pursuing trade opening and joining NAFTA? Big Business, the State, and Free Trade argues that Mexico's trade reforms are the product of the formation of political coalitions between business and the state in different international contexts. It covers the NAFTA negotiations in detail, with a special case study on the automotive industry. As Mexico democratizes, business-government coalitions will become increasingly important.
'This exhaustively researched account of Mexican trade policy in the 1980s should be required reading for all scholars of Latin American political economy. driving this rich monograph is a nuanced analytical framework combining elements of state, society and internationally focused models of policymaking in developing countries.' Sylvia Maxfield, Harvard University 'Professor Strom Thacker's approach to the influence of Mexican business in the making of the North American Free Trade Agreement is both theoretically innovative and empirically exhaustive. This book sheds new light on the social and political interests, both national and international, underlying the features of free trade between Mexico, the United States and Canada. It is indispensable reading for students and scholars of international political economy.' Francisco Valdes-Ugalde, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico 'This book takes a big step beyond one-sided accounts of trade policy, either statist or sectoral, to examine the groups within the state and in big business who allied to push Mexico into NAFTA. Thacker's richly documented study offers a penetrating analysis of Mexican politics in recent decades and contributes important theoretical insights for comparative debates on the crucial nexus between business and government.' Ben Ross Schneider, Northwestern University