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    Chile: Socialists Fire First Salvo at Pacific Alliance

    In office only a week, the new foreign minister of Chile, Heraldo Muñoz, is already signaling the intention of the government of Socialist president Michelle Batchelet to weaken the pro-free-market Pacific Alliance in favor of its more statist competitor, Mercosur. A move like this would seem to confirm rumors of … More

    Obama Silent as Venezuelan Government Violently Represses Democratic Opposition

    Thousands of supporters and opponents of Venezuela’s socialist government have taken to the streets this past week. Initiated by student groups, the protestors are voicing their grievances against soaring crime rates, high inflation, a shortage of basic goods, and a lack of political and economic freedom. All the while, the … More

    Factions of Colombian Army Accused of Spying on Their Own Government

    Reports surfaced last week alleging that the Colombian Army was working alongside civilian hackers to spy on the government’s Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) peace negotiators. In what sounds like an episode of Homeland, the army is accused of intercepting FARC communications from offices disguised as a restaurant and computer … More

    Buyer Beware: Secretary Kerry and Venezuela

    On the margins of the general assembly of the Organization of American States in Guatemala, Secretary of State John Kerry met with Venezuela’s foreign minister, Elias Jaua, representing the democratically challenged and crisis-prone government of Nicolas Maduro, handpicked successor of the late Hugo Chavez and self-proclaimed victor of the April … More

    Pacific Alliance: Decreasing Trade Barriers and Increasing Economic Growth

    The presidents of the “Pacific Alliance” (Chile, Colombia, México, and Perú) met last week in Cali, Colombia, to sign an agreement removing tariffs on 90 percent of their merchandise trade. This is good news. Congress and the Obama Administration should pay more attention to this trade bloc—one that is considerably … More

    Cuba: Raul Castro Is Out-Punching the U.S.

    A gaggle of democratic states gathered in Santiago, Chile, in late January handed over leadership of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Nations to Cuba for the coming year. The whitewash of Cuba’s abominable human rights and personal freedom record was quickly noted. The Santiago conclave started what has … More

    U.S. Should Export Natural Gas

    A long-awaited report on natural gas exports was finally released by the Department of Energy (DOE) last week. Unsurprisingly, it concluded that exporting natural gas would bring a net economic benefit to the U.S. economy, with most benefits being realized as economies of scale in gas production increase. With the … More

    Time to Boost Free Trade Closer to Home

    America’s free trade agreements in Latin America are a major opportunity. But even though the new U.S.–Panama free trade agreement went into effect on October 31, potentially creating up to 7,000 new jobs, the United States still seems to forget about our friendly neighbors close to home. Talk of pivoting … More

    U.S.–Panama Free Trade Agreement Coming into Force—Five Years Later

    On October 31, nearly five years after being signed by both nations, a free trade agreement between the United States and Panama will finally be entering into force. Five years ago, there was no iPad, the unemployment rate was under 5 percent, and the Tea Party was still an 18th … More

    U.S. Free Trade Agreement with Colombia Enters into Force Today -- Finally!

    Following through on President Obama’s announcement last month in Cartagena that the U.S.–Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will take effect on May 15, 2012, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made the following statement: Beginning today, U.S. agricultural exporters receive duty-free access on more than half of the products we currently … More