Trading blows

24 Jan 20

President Trump’s protectionism is aggravating Latin America’s fiscal headache.

When Donald Trump entered the White House, economists in Latin America were distracted. They were busy figuring out how to tighten public finances
after the commodity boom that had enabled their governments to lift millions out of poverty through greatly raised spending. The implications of the
‘Trump doctrine’ – dismantling the multilateral institutions that have served Latin America well – passed them by as they grappled with unsustainable budgets.

But neglect comes at a price. The region now finds itself in the crossfire of a shootout between its two main trading partners, the US and China, as the global economy slows – making it even harder to address its deep-seated fiscal problems.

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  • Gavin O'Toole

    A freelance journalist. He has written six books about Latin America and taught the politics of the region at Queen Mary, University of London.

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