Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pacific Alliancing

Michelle Bachelet, Juan Manuel Santos, Enrique Peña Nieto, and Ollanta Humala have a joint op-ed about the Pacific Alliance. Its basic thrust is that the free movement of goods and people will improve welfare.

One interesting point to consider is that both Bachelet and Humala were bashed when they took office for being leftists (remarkably, this was true even just recently for Bachelet). Santos, meanwhile, is center-right but bashed by his predecessor for, among other things, being willing to reach out to the left. So all the easy ideological labels don't work too well.

This is also notable for the "losing Latin America" argument I've periodically tried to counter. A majority of Latin American countries are market-oriented, which has consistently been a U.S. policy goal. Like it or not, it's reality. The Pacific Alliance is a good example of how Latin American countries can actually come together in pursuit of something the U.S. favors but is not directing. That's hardly "losing." It just means that leading is not synonymous with directing.


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