Thursday, January 24, 2013

Doing "Something" in Latin America

So many op-eds about how the Obama administration needs to do more in Latin America. Here's another in the Financial Times. The main problem is that the suggestions given in all of these articles are actually minimal. In this case, the key policy prescription is to take the FTAs we have, gather them together into a mini FTAA, and then say Brazil can join if it wants. OK, great.

The fact is that despite all the hype, the U.S. trades a lot with Latin America, interacts a lot on a number of issues, but now is increasingly one player among many. And that's good.

I've written about this before, but I keep wondering how much "doing more" reflects a nostalgia for a more hegemonic era. It was our self-proclaimed job to set the political agenda, dictate economic terms to the degree we could, and identify enemies. With more players, that is now much harder to do. And that's good.


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