A full video archive of this event is available via C-SPAN here.
China’s “going out” strategy, which aims to support the international expansion of Chinese firms to secure energy and natural resources, has created a significant footprint in Latin America. While the United States and European Union remain the top two trading partners with the region, China is rapidly catching up – the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean estimates that China will become the region’s second largest trading partner as early as 2015. With China concentrating its investment and trade in natural resources—including oil and gas, iron ore, coal and copper—in key Latin American countries, the impact of China’s strategic outreach can be felt both regionally and globally.
On August 17, the John L. Thornton China Center and the Latin America Initiative at Brookings, with the Council of the Americas, hosted a discussion on China’s increasing trade with and influence in Latin America and the implications for their relationships with the U.S. Based on their most recent research, Brookings experts Mauricio Cárdenas and Erica Downs analyzed the increasing role of Chinese investment in the region. Mauricio Mesquita Moreira of the Inter-American Development Bank offered his comments. Eric Farnsworth of the Council of the Americas moderated the discussion.
After the program, panelists took audience questions.
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I question whether the U.K. and EU will become political and economic rivals, as geography, history, financial interests, security concerns, and shared values will necessitate continued close cooperation in some form for the foreseeable future. My bigger concern is the all-consuming nature of Brexit, which could prevent the U.K. especially and the EU from engaging effectively against international rivals. Brexit already dominates debates in London, with a divided Cabinet and parliament having limited bandwidth to engage on global challenges. Even if the U.K. parliament ratifies a Brexit deal, the two sides must then embark on equally complicated and domestically contentious negotiations about their future relationship. In some form, Brexit will afflict Europe for years and risks detracting attention from emerging threats.