Traditionally, the relationship between the United States and Latin America has been marked by periods of ups and downs, and often indifference. Over the past decade, the latter has largely settled in. However, in view of the region's increased global profile and reach, devising a healthy U.S. foreign policy towards Latin America is extremely vital to both U.S. and Latin American political and economic interests. Patching up broken ties and establishing new partnerships will not be easy, especially considering the rising levels of anti-American sentiments across the region and the shift to the left of several Latin American governments. These new developments, however, should not be reasons for further alienation and fear, but rather should stimulate the U.S. to assume a more proactive role in the future political, economic and especially social trajectory of the region by promoting the development of sustainable domestic solutions to the challenges Latin America is now facing. The political and social advancement of the region is crucial to the achievement of U.S. interests and should be at the core of the new administration's long-term foreign policy strategy in the region.
[...] While the populist governments now in power in Latin America, Venezuela, Argentina, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, and Chile, are vastly diverse with differing levels of citizens' support, the focus on social agendas on part of the regimes is a trend that the United States cannot ignore. Addressing the shortcomings of democratic institutions will entail embracing the concerns that are the top priority of most of the governments in the region. Trade Latin America is the fastest growing regional U.S. partner. [...]
[...] Additionally, Hugo Chavez has widely publicized his contempt for the United States and its leadership and has made it clear that he is not willing to engage in a constructive diplomatic dialogue with the U.S. The security threats in Latin America should be of paramount importance to the United States as they deeply affect global political and economic prosperity and stability. But as with trade, security cannot be the only focus of U.S. interests. Economics Hardships and Energy Resources Over the years, successful economic development in most Latin American has enabled the region to become one the U.S.' biggest economic partners. [...]
[...] actively acts in addressing these issues, progress could stall. Brazil A key to US relations with Latin America is the relationship with Brazil. Issues of importance to the United States are also shared by Brazil which is aspiring to become a more robust regional and global actor. For instance, cooperation with Brazil on developing sustainable energy options and thus addressing U.S. energy security concerns would be of great advantage to the United States. In order for this to be achieved, the U.S. [...]
[...] foreign policy toward its neighbors in Latin America has been under serious scrutiny over the past few months. President Bush's recent trip to the region has further pronounced the need to develop a new, more targeted, but broader in its selection o f issues and reach, strategy toward the countries of Latin America. The problems there are many, and the specificities of each country's realities make the administration's task that much more difficult. There is an understanding among leadership circles, however, that profound shifts in foreign policy need to be implemented toward the region as whole, as issues such social injustice and undemocratic practices are as [...]
[...] Promote Economic Policies that Foster Development Latin America is one of U.S.' most important world trade partners and building mutually beneficial economic relations should be an important priority for the U.S. The promise of free trade with the U.S. encourages economic reform in the region and the U.S. should aim at resolving current partisan divisions and advancing bilateral free trade agreements to provide more opportunities for economic developments and regional prosperity. To achieve this U.S. should: - Encourage Latin American countries to liberalize their economies before trade negotiations occur as in this way the promise of less regulation does not become a bargaining chip in the hands of Latin American governments. [...]
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