International Change and National Responses: Social Coalitions and Patent Politics in Latin America in the 1990s
Argentina and Brazil responded differently to these dual pressures. In Argentina the President submitted a proposal that greatly exceeded the country’s obligations under TRIPS and satisfied the demands of the US government and its industry allies, though years of Executive-Legislative conflict produced a law with virtually all of the maximalist provisions removed. In Brazil, the President initially resisted US pressures and submitted a more moderate proposal, only for the legislative process to yield an over-compliant, maximalist law. To explain these divergent outcomes I focus on the characteristics of the national and transnational pharmaceutical sectors, which were at the core of the rival coalitions for minimalist compliance and maximalist over-compliance, respectively. I then consider how external pressures, particularly trade sanctions from the US, interacted with each country’s export structure to affect the relative strength of the coalition for over-compliance. The analysis utilizes within-case process tracing to consider the joint effects of these two sources of coalitional change.