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La Época was one of the leading newspapers in the nineteenth century, published in La Paz and founded by Argentine political refugees, including the intellectual and future Argentine president Bartolomé Mitre. In September 1845, La Época published a series of articles about foreign trade, advocating its complete deregulation. In response, the newspaper El Eco, of Potosí, argued that the consumption of foreign goods was “destructive to public wealth,” and that it was therefore necessary to introduce tariff barriers in order to protect and promote national industry. This debate continued the analysis of the country’s economic situation that the protectionist Villager had begun in 1830, and would last until at least 1860, when the entire economy was deregulated.

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