Latin America

  • As Crisis Continues in Venezuela, Colombia’s “Borders are Open,” Foreign Minister Says

    Colombia is not going to change its open-door policy for its neighbor Venezuela, despite the influx of 1.5 million Venezuelans fleeing the economic and political collapse of Nicolás Maduro’s regime, according to Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo.

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  • USMCA’s Road to Passage is Bumpy, But Its Promised Stability is Sorely Needed

    Congressional Democrats and the US Trade Representative (USTR) are inching toward agreement on key elements of the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Trump administration is aiming to achieve Congressional approval of the new trade agreement during September or October, when it still may be possible to get it through the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives before 2020 electioneering is in full swing. 

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  • 20 Years in the Making: Mercosur-European Union Reach Trade Deal

    Days after the announcement of the Mercosur-European Union trade deal, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center partnered with the Global Business and Economics Program and the Future Europe Initiative for a conference call to discuss the details and implications of the momentous agreement.

    A byproduct of two decades of discussions and forty rounds of negotiations, the deal is the largest for the European Union (EU) in terms of population and the first for Mercosur since the four-nation bloc, which includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, was established in 1991. The agreement covers a population of nearly eight hundred million people and will result in over four billion euros in tariff savings for the European Union.

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  • INFOGRAPHICS - Disinformation in Democracies: Strengthening Digital Resilience in Latin America

    2018 saw political tides turn in three of Latin America’s largest democracies. These elections also saw deep polarization and distrust in institutions among Brazilians, Mexicans, and Colombians in an information environment ripe with disinformation. And while disinformation and misinformation are nothing new, the spread of false information at alarming rates is more effective and worrisome than ever. A year-long effort to identify, expose, and explain disinformation around elections in Latin America using open source methodologies yielded the following key findings and recommendations.

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  • US Senator Condemns Putin's Complicit Role in Venezuela

    US Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support for Nicolás Maduro’s regime in Venezuela, saying on June 20 that the Russian president is a "co-conspirator" in Maduro's human rights abuses.

    Maduro has led Venezuela since his election as president in 2013, when he took over from Hugo Chavez. On his watch Venezuela has become mired in an economic and humanitarian crisis marked by widespread unemployment, food and medicine shortages, and hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have left country. After Maduro was inaugurated for a second term on January 10, following elections deemed fraudulent by many international observers, National Assembly President Juan Guaidó was selected as interim president by the National Assembly and recognized by the United States and more than fifty other countries. Guaidó attempted to rally support from the Venezuelan military to depose Maduro in his “Operation Freedom” on April 30, but has been so far unable to force Maduro to step aside.

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  • US Senators Warn Against Tariffs on Mexico

    The migrant flow from Central America to the United States is a serious problem that needs to be addressed, but cannot be solved through the use of tariffs, two US senators said at the Atlantic Council on June 12.

    On May 30, US President Donald J. Trump threatened to impose a 5 percent tariff on all Mexican goods by June 10 unless the Mexican government did more to help prevent migrants from reaching the US border. He further warned that this tariff would be increased by five percentage points each month until satisfactory progress was made. On June 7, Trump announced that a deal had been struck with the Mexican government that saw the tariff threat dropped, although it could be reinstated if the there is a “problem.”

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  • US-Mexico Deal Reached: The Economic Reasons for Avoiding Tariffs

    On June 12, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center in partnership with POLITICO, hosted a timely event to discuss the economic costs of tariffs on Mexican imports for US consumers. The event was held less than a week after a US-Mexico deal was reached.

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  • Trump's Risky Trade Game

    The effectiveness of President Donald Trump’s unprecedented weaponization of tariffs in addressing non-trade issues is facing its most significant tests yet in Mexico and China.
    In the case of Mexico, he had threatened new 5% tariffs on Mexican goods – which were to be imposed as early as Monday. The aim was to force the Mexican government to stem the flood of undocumented migrants across US borders.

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  • Infographic: Costs of a Five Percent Mexico Tariff on US Consumers

    On June 10, without a deal, the United States will place a 5 percent tariff on all Mexican products, with the potential to escalate by 5 percent each month until October, reaching a potential maximum of 25 percent. The US tariffs, levied in response to President Trump’s demand that Mexico stop all migration, would have immediate effects on US consumers and businesses. What are the potential effects of US tariffs at the state and national levels?

    This new Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center infographic distills some of the economic ramifications that would accompany tariffs.

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  • Immigration and Tariffs: In Support of the Ongoing US-Mexico Border Diplomacy

    In an effort to head off the escalating tariffs on Mexican imports that US President Donald J. Trump has threatened to impose as of June 10, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) dispatched cabinet members to Washington for meetings to work through the complex issues surrounding migration flows from Central America.

    If imposed, these US tariffs would have major near-term economic and political costs for the United States and Mexico. Over the longer term, they could cause serious damage to a bilateral relationship that has progressively become more important since the establishment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994.

    There is plenty of responsibility to share for the immigration challenges being faced today on the US-Mexico border. 

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