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- US Foreign Policy toward Latin America
- Working together for multilateralism and women’s rights! - Federal Foreign Office
- The place of Latin America in Japan's foreign policy
It is using economic statecraft to pull the region into its orbit; the question is at what price. One cost has been to the environment and to indigenous communities. Infrastructure development, although necessary, has often been carried out irresponsibly, with enormous social , political , economic , and environmental consequences. Another consequence has been a significant loss of U.
In , for example, Venezuela published its oil prices in yuan for the first time.
The move was welcomed by other countries, including Russia, which cheered the pushback against dollar dominance. There is a way for the United States to help address both problems at once.
Increased U. And if the United States, the U. Agency for International Development, the new U. International Development Finance Corporation, and multilateral organs such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank IDB are seen as genuinely contributing to Latin American development in a way that puts the long-term interests of the region above or at least on par with U. Those deeply in arrears to China have sometimes had to take on more loans from the superpower to stay afloat.
The example of Ecuador is telling. Some have suggested that the United States try to regain its standing in Latin America by, essentially, copying China and funding infrastructure at a large scale.
US Foreign Policy toward Latin America
That is a trap. For one, Western investors have struggled to do megaprojects well and have often passed on projects that have gone on to be funded by Chinese banks. Further, although the Latin American infrastructure gap is real, the last thing the region needs is yet another round of megaproject building driven more by foreign desires than local needs. Hydropower is a good example.
Working together for multilateralism and women’s rights! - Federal Foreign Office
Chinese state firms are the largest financiers and builders of dams in the world, having raised over in 74 countries. These dams, and others financed by regional lenders, have displaced hundreds of thousands and have caused untold environmental harm. Another result of all this construction is that the region has become overly reliant on hydropower. In fact, data from the International Hydropower Association show that nearly two-thirds of South American electricity is generated via hydropower projects.
The place of Latin America in Japan's foreign policy
Large hydropower projects are also consistently poor investments. University of Oxford economists have demonstrated that actual costs of hydropower construction average 96 percent over what initial models predicted. Yet Western lenders have long supported hydropower development in Latin America. Its most recent gambit, the Ituango Dam commonly known as Hidroituango , was an unmitigated disaster.
The dam ultimately burst during construction, displacing 25, people and threatening many more downstream. Hidroituango highlights a key tension between the desire for rapid development and time-consuming social and environmental assessments. Rather than trying to compete with China by forgoing such evaluations themselves, though, the United States and other lenders might more usefully focus on helping make environmental and social safeguards less burdensome. They could do so by footing the bill for meeting the community consultation requirements that might come with a World Bank project, for example, or by funding the environmental assessments that the IDB might want.
Such aid could make Western-driven projects nimbler and also better investments for Latin America in the long run. And in theory, because China typically defers to local regulations where it does business, such a system could even help ensure the safety of Chinese projects by helping Latin American nations enforce their own rules. Beyond footing the bill for impact assessments, the West could also do a lot of good by investing in higher education and public sector and professional development in Latin America.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas commented as follows:. Most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean share our values and interests.
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They are natural allies when it comes to strengthening multilateralism. And they too must contend with difficult national and international developments. What we have in common with the region is not only the will to play by the rules and to resolve problems together as multilateralists. We also agree, Foreign Minister Maas said, that democracy, the rule of law as well as fair and free trade are the only way forward. Germany wants to focus its foreign policy more on these states, not least in order to take a joint stand against nationalist tendencies.
The aim is to step up cooperation on human rights as well as in the business, scientific and cultural spheres. Foreign Minister Maas and his counterparts from Latin America and the Caribbean, along with business and civil-society representatives, will be discussing our future, looking at issues such as:. Alongside public debates and presentations, the Foreign Ministers will also be discussing collaboration on rule-of-law issues, climate change, the green economy, business and research with experts. Participants will talk with international experts about what the digital revolution means for foreign and security policy.
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At the same time, resistance to this dreadful state of affairs is on the increase.