Heine’s Perspective: Uruguay’s Diplomatic Turn

Amb. Jorge Heine

On November 8, 2023, Ambassador Jorge Heine, Research Professor at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies and Interim Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal.

Jorge Heine’s perspective becomes particularly relevant as Uruguay shifts its diplomatic focus from pursuing a U.S. free-trade deal to actively negotiating one with China, revealing missed opportunities for Washington in Latin America. Heine points out the evolving dynamics, stating,

“The U.S., the land of the free and the free market, is seeing a rise in protectionism.”

Despite Uruguay’s stability and pro-trade policies, securing a free-trade agreement with the U.S. remains elusive, leading the nation to engage more actively with Beijing. Chinese investments in Uruguay’s infrastructure and education underscore a broader challenge—U.S. disengagement and ineffective outreach in the region. While the Biden administration emphasizes a robust agenda, critics argue for more tangible efforts. As Latin American nations grapple with political shifts and economic challenges, China’s proactive approach emerges as an appealing alternative, prompting a critical reevaluation of U.S. strategy in the Western Hemisphere.

For a more detailed exploration of Professor Jorge Heine’s insights, you can read the full article here.

Ambassador Jorge Heine is a Research Professor at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. He has served as ambassador of Chile to China (2014-2017), to India (2003-2007), and to South Africa (1994-1999), and as a Cabinet Minister in the Chilean Government. Read more about Ambassador Heine on his faculty profile.