U.S. running out of time to reset Latin American economic approach

From The Globe and mail
By Kevin P. Gallagher
June 7, 2013

The Obama administration and U.S. media have made much ado about the U.S. “pivot” to Asia. What has largely escaped their attention, however, is that China has been lining up economic allies in the erstwhile “backyard” of the United States.

Just as serious competition ought to awaken one’s creative juices in business, it is time for the United States to step up a suitable economic policy for Latin America before it is too late.

The difference in approaches by the United States and China in Latin America were brought into focus this past week, when U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping made tours of Latin America.

The United States’s principal offer to its Latin American neighbours is the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP offers access to the U.S. market to Latin American and Asian nations, on the basis of a triple form of conditions.

First, they must deregulate their financial markets; second, adopt intellectual property provisions that give preferences to U.S. firms; and third, allow private U.S. firms to directly sue governments of countries that sign up to the TPP for violating any of its conditions.

Talk about a heavily conditioned offer.

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