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February 26, 2024

Redefining US strategy with Latin America and the Caribbean for a new era

By Jason Marczak, María Fernanda Bozmoski, and Matthew Kroenig

The strategic interest of the United States and the countries of Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) lies in strengthening their western hemisphere partnership. Shared borders, economic interests, and security alliances bind these nations, along with a common goal for prosperity.

However, the perception of waning US interest and the rise of external influences necessitate the rejuvenation of and renewed focus on this partnership. In May 2023, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security established the US-LAC Future Strategy Working Group to redefine the US-LAC partnership.

This strategy promotes mutual and inclusive economic growth, renewed cooperation through enhanced commercial and investment ties, a renewed paradigm on bolstering security and reducing migration flows across the region, and a focus on preparedness in the face of natural disasters and the energy transition. Acting on this strategy could significantly benefit US economic and security interests. The United States should capitalize on immediate opportunities, like promoting nearshoring as a means to growth and prosperity across the Americas, while maintaining a medium-term strategy tailored to each country’s specific needs.

This strategy paper highlights the importance of adaptability and practicality, particularly as the global economic landscape evolves and power shifts foresee new leading economies by mid-century. In addition, the strategy advocates for the significance of the US-LAC relationship amid the recalibration of US worldwide interests.

The Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center broadens understanding of regional transformations and delivers constructive, results-oriented solutions to inform how the public and private sectors can advance hemispheric prosperity.

The Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security works to develop sustainable, nonpartisan strategies to address the most important security challenges facing the United States and the world.

Image: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens to Mexico's Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena at a joint press conference during the US-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue at the State Department in Washington, September 29, 2023. REUTERS/Leah Millis