This article studies the growth and decline of Argentine exports of manufactured goods during the 1940s and 1950s. In a context that was favourable due to the global scarcity of manufactured goods, Argentine industry managed to sell its products in several foreign markets, especially in Latin America, during the Second World War. In the post-war period, however, exports declined and returned to the levels of the 1930s. After 1950 the Peronist administration again tried to stimulate exports through the use of various incentives, but they did not revive. The article examines the reasons for this decline, the role played by the economic, commercial and industrial policies of the Peronist era, and the problems that Argentine industry faced in remaining competitive. Based on this analysis, the paper questions the interpretation that argues that exporting manufactured goods was a viable path for development for import substitution industrialisation countries in the post-war world. In this respect the paper contributes to the discussion of different paths towards economic development in Latin America.