Your Move, Obama
Recently, scholars and experts on foreign policy alike have begun to identify Latin America as an increasingly important region in the global marketplace. Over the past decade, Latin American countries have consistently demonstrated a capacity to maintain political and economic stability, the lack of which plagued the area for years. As a result, countries like Chile, Argentina, and Brazil have become key players in international trade and investment; and the future even seems brighter for less-developed countries whose recent economic situations can best be described as dismal. What’s more, Latin America has access to vast oil reserves, abundant minerals and raw materials, and is a major producer of agricultural products that are traded around the world. It is becoming more and more clear that the clout of this region is not to be ignored.
However, China seems to be the only country that is currently taking full advantage of Latin America’s potential as a global partner in trade and commerce. Consequently, a common consensus has arisen among foreign policy buffs that, in thinking toward the future, global superpowers such as the United States and the United Kingdom should be doing more to ally themselves with Latin America if they wish to remain equally competitive with Eastern powers. In fact, a recent article from foreignpolicy.com written by best-selling author and international relations expert Parag Khanna, asserts that in making a visit to Latin America last March – “Obama has implicitly acknowledged the emerging geopolitical reality that Latin America is nothing less than the third pillar of the West, alongside Europe and North America.”
Khanna’s article, appropriately entitled Look South, Not East, offers a brief but fascinating overview of the ways in which the United States could benefit from strengthening their ties to Latin American countries. It is clear to me after reading this piece that in doing so, not only would creating strong relations with Latin America become an important strategic asset for the U.S. in their struggle to maintain dominance over the world market – but projects set forth by this potential partnership could also greatly benefit Latin America itself.
It would appear that given the current economic state in the U.S., American lawmakers would be well-advised to act fast in tapping into the economic catalyst that lies directly to their south. Especially since they are not the only country that stands to gain from increased “Latinvolvement,” – according to a blog released yesterday by the Foreign Policy Association: the U.K. wants in too. Hence the title: “Your Move, Obama.”