Thursday, November 10, 2005

US - Latin America

US influence in Latin America is waning, says this opinion piece. (Incidentally, I love it when the international pages of our newspapers move beyond stories that are of immediate interest to us - there's a big world out there.) The change appears to be driven by three processes - (i) regional integration in Latin America [at the commencemet of FTAA negotiations, the US demanded that pre-existing regional groupings such as Mercosur be dissolved and that Latin American countries negotiate in their individual capacities - obviously they refused (as a group!)]; (ii) increasing orientation towards China, so that the US is no longer the most important investor or destination for exports; (iii) the rise of the Left, although I think the author overplays this - even the most radical leftists (e.g. Lula) seem to be socialised into the rules of the international game once they attain power (in order to hold on to it), and as we well know those rules are essentially geared towards keeping happy that strange animal they call 'investor confidence'.

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