Gallagher Gives Talk on The China Triangle


The Latin American Studies Program, an affiliated program of the The Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, hosted a talk by Kevin Gallagher, Professor of Global Development Policy, on his new book, The China Triangle: Latin America’s China Boom and the Fate of the Washington Consensus.

The China Triangle provides one of the first accounts of post-“China boom” Latin America, and focuses on Latin America’s development challenges in a historical context.

Prof. Gallagher discussed how Latin America turned to China as a main source for the region’s economic growth after the financial crisis of 2008 ravaged the economies of the United States and Europe.

“Repivoting their economies to China helped to get a faster growth rate than anything we’ve been able to offer for 30 years,” Gallagher said “But at the end of the day they didn’t invest the proceeds of it into the proper ways to transform their economy into one that isn’t so reliable on boom and bust commodity cycles.”

Prof. Gallagher also said Latin America has failed to develop regional plans for smart infrastructure and logistics that spur innovation and inter-regional trade.

“The problem is Latin America doesn’t have a plan for China’s plan,” Gallagher said. “Latin America’s China plans are all bilateral, and it’s almost every time a presidential pet project to build a road to a mine in the Amazon–nothing that is going to transform the abilities of the economies to be innovative or to transform into services and manufacturing. There is no regional forum to have a conversation about a regional infrastructure plan.”

You can purchase a copy of The China Triangle here.

Kevin Gallagher is the co-chair of the Task Force on Regulating Capital Flows and has served as an advisor to the Department of State and the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States, as well as to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Gallagher has been a visiting or adjunct professor at the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico; Tsinghua University in China, and the Center for State and Society in Argentina.