As the mid-point in the Obama presidency approaches, the United States and the nations of Latin America face an array of tough policy challenges — from immigration, narcotics and crime to humanitarian emergencies and democratic development — in some of the hemisphere’s most complex nations. Shifting the Balance: The Obama Administration and the Americas (Brookings Press, 2011) analyzes the current state of U.S.-Latin American affairs and sets forth a series of specific recommendations for how the Obama administration might advance its goals toward building a more collaborative and pragmatic partnership with the Americas in the years ahead.
On January 6, the Latin America Initiative at Brookings hosted the launch of Shifting the Balance featuring keynote remarks from Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela. Assistant Secretary Valenzuela provided opening remarks on the state of U.S.-Latin American relations and what the next two years might hold. He was joined by two of the book’s co-editors, Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow Abraham Lowenthal, professor at the University of Southern California, and Senior Fellow Ted Piccone, deputy director of Foreign Policy at Brookings.
Senior Fellow Mauricio Cárdenas, director of the Latin America Initiative, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, panelists took audience questions.