Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Research Report

Beyond the Headlines: A Strategy for US Engagement with Latin America in the Trump Era

Peter Schechter
Jason Marczak
with Rachel DeLevie-Orey
Foreword by Michael Chertoff
Copyright Date: Mar. 1, 2017
Published by: Atlantic Council
Pages: 50
  • Cite this Item

Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-2)
    Michael Chertoff

    Uncertainty characterizes much of the world today, from conflict in the Middle East to Russia’s attempts at worldwide reassertion. While we rightly tend to focus on global hotspots, we must not overlook the importance of expanding ties with regions of stability that are beacons for US business and home to steadfast US allies.

    Simply put, in this rapidly shifting world, the United States cannot afford to ignore Latin America. But, time and time again, we default to doing just that, or worse, adopting far too aggressive, zero-sum approaches to our relations with the region. Allies, especially those that share US...

  2. (pp. 7-9)

    In late November 2016, after the people of Colombia shocked the world by voting against the first peace agreement between the government of Colombia and the FARC, President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño officially signed a revised peace agreement to end more than fifty-two years of conflict. Days later, President Santos accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his ongoing commitment to peace. The prize was demonstrative of what many in and out of Colombia already knew: Despite the bump on the road to peace, Colombia is a country transformed. In the early 1990s, the city of Medellín...

  3. (pp. 10-20)

    It is clear the United States and Latin America are on divergent paths; as the United States looks to tighten its borders—both physical and economic—Latin America is seeking greater engagement and integration. But, these trends need not lead to a halt in relations. Avenues exist for a mutually prosperous relationship that bolsters the economies and security of the United States and countries in the region, which are core goals for the United States. Recognizing that US engagement with the region is unlikely to be “business as usual” in the Trump era, the following four guidelines describe how the...

  4. (pp. 21-35)

    Latin America has witnessed great waves of change over the past year, and will continue on its path to transformation with upcoming elections in 2017 and 2018. New presidents took office in Argentina, Guatemala, Peru, and Brazil over the last two years; Ecuador will elect a new president this spring.48 Economic crises and political scandals in many countries have given way to inklings of reform. Uncertainty continues to dominate some pockets of the region, but renewed commitment from government actors and civil society gives reason for hope. The following countries—important strategic allies and trade partners for the United States—...

  5. (pp. 36-36)

    As Latin America is looking outward, the United States is looking inward, but these need not be mutually exclusive trends. Indeed, as the new administration considers how to ensure US national security and economic growth, a newly engaged Latin America presents a wealth of opportunity on myriad fronts. The possibilities for collaboration abound—in urbanization, human capital, open markets, energy reform, technology, and the fight against corruption. Diverse sectors of the United States are already on board: businesses investing in the region; universities and research institutions with exchange programs; NGOs working on the ground; and local and state governments with...