by Roger F. Noriega, Felipe Trigos
American Enterprise Institute
April 07, 2014
During the last three decades, most of Latin America has benefited from important gains in the consolidation of democratic institutions and implementation of orthodox economic policies that have tamed hyperinflation, reined in debt, and liberalized trade. Of course, Venezuela, Cuba, and other countries are dramatic exceptions to this regional progress. However, even the region’s bellwether economies, Brazil and Mexico, which are routinely hailed for their growth spurts and unquestionable potential, have suffered from recurring bouts of populist policies. Key Latin American governments, such as Brazil and Mexico, must adopt economic, fiscal, and energy policies that will maximize job creation, sustainable growth, and energy self-sufficiency. Because the performance of Latin American economies has a disproportionate effect on US prosperity, the American economy will benefit if US policy encourages economic partnerships with Latin America that cultivate a healthy private sector, energy interdependence, and greater competitiveness in a global market.