Center for American Progress

RELEASE: CAP Recommendations for President Obama’s Trip to Latin America
Press Release

RELEASE: CAP Recommendations for President Obama’s Trip to Latin America

Columns on increasing food security, building better bonds, and resolving shared economic concerns

Press Contacts

  • Christina DiPasquale

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a series of columns relating to President Barack Obama’s upcoming trip to Latin America. Three reports—"A U.S.-Brazil Alliance to Strengthen Food Security” by Jake Caldwell, “Building Better Bonds with Latin America” by Vanessa Cárdenas, and “From an Alliance for Progress to a Partnership for Prosperity” by Sabina Dewan and Matt Browne—all outline important issues for the president to consider as he speaks with leaders in Brazil, El Salvador, and Chile on the 50th anniversary of United States forging its “Alliance for Progress” with its South American neighbors.

“A U.S.-Brazil Alliance to Strengthen Food Security” discusses the need to forge a strategic partnership to confront global food insecurity and rising food prices. Feeding the hungry throughout the Western Hemisphere was a key priority of the original Alliance for Progress and this remains a pressing global need today. In the medium term we can expect global food prices to remain high due to increased demand, low stocks, high oil prices, and increasing vulnerability of harvests to the impacts of climate change. The world food system must transform to meet these challenges. Only the best ideas that meet local needs and contribute to increasing yields and sustainable production should be deployed in developing countries. To read the full column, click here.

“Building Better Bonds with Latin America” draws attention to the ability of a growing U.S. Latino population, with bicultural, transnational identity and strong relations to Latin America, to help forge a stronger, mutually beneficial relationship with the United States in the years to come. Results from the 2010 Census show the actual U.S. Hispanic population outstripped Census Bureau estimates in 23 of the 33 states where Census figures are out. The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce reports that Hispanic businesses are the single fastest-growing segment of small businesses in the country and hometown associations—immigrant organizations based in a common hometown that come together for social, cultural, and political empowerment and economic development—have formed in a number of U.S. cities and act as promoters of international development. This article focuses on how President Obama’s trip can foster innovation, entrepreneurship, and stronger U.S.-Latin American relations, given the growing influence of Latinos in the United States. To read the full article, click here.

“From an Alliance for Progress to a Partnership for Prosperity” outlines the need for the United States and its South American neighbors to commit to forging a mutually beneficial economic relationship in this transformed global economic landscape. For decades, China has pegged its currency to the U.S. dollar to manage its stability and depress its international value which makes Chinese exports cheaper and prices other countries such as Brazil out of export markets. The common interest in pressing China to ease excessive restrictions in its markets and strengthening the undervalued yuan, form the basis of a strong alliance between Brazil and the United States within the Group of 20. Any publicly issued statement reaffirming the U.S. and Brazilian commitment to rebalancing global imbalances is code for pointed private conversations about these common concerns. President Obama can use this trip to help illustrate how a new Partnership for Prosperity based on a shared agenda for the creation of just jobs with workers’ rights and economic mobility can be of benefit to all. For the full article, click here.

To speak with CAP experts on President Obama’s upcoming trip to Latin America, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.481.8181 or cdipasquale@americanprogress.org.

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