Friday, December 09, 2011

More on the US and Latin America

Coincidentally, CNN ran an op-ed on the same day as mine in the Miami Herald that argues more or less the opposite. It echoes the conventional wisdom that the U.S. needs to do more because it is missing out in Latin America to China and other countries.

The main problem I have is that it provides exactly zero specific suggestions:

A respectful partnership, not one where one country dictates to others, could help the United States build a stronger diplomatic presence on the global arena, help it shake the blues and get ready for the tough challenges the young century has already thrown in its path.

I can't think of any policy change that will suddenly elbow out other countries.  Most other countries are in Latin America because they have cash and are gobbling up commodities, which is the main source of all the vaunted GDP growth in the region. It just isn't clear to me how the U.S. can change that reality.

The fact is, the rest of the world is coming to Latin America no matter what the U.S. does.


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