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Updated: 51 min 55 sec ago

Mexico 2017 Recap: Mexico and North America – A Global Powerhouse

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 18:07

Mexico 2017 Recap: Mexico and North America – A Global Powerhouse

Program SummariesElizabeth GonzalezHolly K. SonnelandCarin ZissisTuesday, May 23, 2017

Speakers:

Luis Videgaray, Chrystia Freeland, Ildefonso Guajardo, and José Antonio Meade, along with 6 CEOs and other private-sector leaders, all spoke at the event in the Palacio Nacional. 

Weekly Chart: Venezuela's Infant and Maternal Health Crisis

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 11:02

Weekly Chart: Venezuela's Infant and Maternal Health Crisis

InfographicsHolly K. SonnelandThursday, May 18, 2017

In early May, a report appeared on the Venezuelan Health Ministry’s website that no one had seen in almost two years: a weekly health bulletin. This one, from the last week of 2016, had government statistics showing dramatic increases in infant and maternal deaths from the prior year.

Venezuela’s maternal mortality rate is now estimated to be over 100 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Explainer: Cuba-Russia Ties Get a Tune-Up

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 13:41

Explainer: Cuba-Russia Ties Get a Tune-Up

ExplainersElizabeth GonzalezWednesday, May 17, 2017

Cuba’s former Soviet ally recently threw the island’s ailing economy a lifeline. On May 10, a tanker carrying 250,000 barrels of Russian oil arrived in Matanzas, some 60 miles east of Havana. It was Russia’s first shipment of refined oil to Cuba in decades, after being the country’s principal fuel supplier through the Cold War up until the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991.

With Venezuelan oil shipments down, Cuba’s former Soviet ally is providing a lifeline for the island’s ailing economy.

Update: The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Turns Five

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 17:43

Update: The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Turns Five

Hemispheric UpdatesRodrigo RiazaTuesday, May 16, 2017

On May 15, 2012, Colombia kicked off implementation of a long-delayed free-trade accord with Washington by sending a U.S.-bound planeload of flowers. The bilateral deal slashed over 80 percent of tariffs, decreased barriers to trade, and provided investment and procurement assurances to foreign investors. By 2020, all remaining tariffs are set to be phased out.

Despite an oil price drop and bilateral trade slump, more Colombian companies are exporting to the United States than before.

How to Improve NAFTA

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 16:40

How to Improve NAFTA

Articles & Op-EdsTuesday, May 16, 2017

A few days after marking its first 100 days in office, the Trump administration closed in on another milestone: $300 billion. That’s the total value of goods that crossed U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico between Inauguration Day and April 29.

Modernizing the trade deal would make the United States more—not less—competitive globally, write Mack McLarty and Penny Pritzker in the Los Angeles Times.

#CouncilBR Recap: São Paulo Is Jumping on Investors' Optimism

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 14:26

#CouncilBR Recap: São Paulo Is Jumping on Investors' Optimism 

Program SummariesElizabeth GonzalezLuisa LemeGabrielle Rocha RiosFriday, May 12, 2017

Speakers:

Mayor João Doria and private sector representatives discussed the next steps for ramping up the Brazilian economy.

Recap: The 47th Washington Conference on the Americas

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 15:29

Recap: The 47th Washington Conference on the Americas

Program SummariesHolly K. SonnelandWednesday, May 10, 2017

Speakers:

“The Americas and the New Washington” featured keynote speeches from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, and Senators John McCain and Marco Rubio.

Weekly Chart: Military Spending in Latin America and the Caribbean

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 11:37

Weekly Chart: Military Spending in Latin America and the Caribbean

InfographicsElizabeth GonzalezWednesday, May 10, 2017

Though global military spending rose over the last year, Latin America saw a big drop. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute released 2016 data last month showing that, after the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean’s military spending fell the most: 7.9 percent from 2015 to 2016. The region’s $5 billion drop was largely affected by the overall downward trend among oil-exporting countries, which registered 13 of the largest 15 reductions in military spending around the world. 

Most countries cut spending in 2016, with Venezuela leading the pack.

Viewpoint: Five Things to Know about the Big Edomex Governor's Race

Thu, 05/04/2017 - 12:09

Viewpoint: Five Things to Know about the Big Edomex Governor's Race

Viewpoints AmericasCarin ZissisThursday, May 4, 2017

With just four of 31 Mexican states holding regional elections on June 4, the votes are far from national in scope. But the results of one race—the much-prized gubernatorial seat in Estado de México, aka Edomex—is of national importance, given that its outcome serves as a preamble to next year’s presidential election. A month before the election, here’s what you need to know about the race.

The outcome of a June 4 gubernatorial election in Mexico’s most populous state could be an indicator of what’s to come in the 2018 presidential race.

Explainer: A Look at NAFTA's Biggest Trade Disputes

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 17:14

Explainer: A Look at NAFTA's Biggest Trade Disputes

ExplainersElizabeth GonzalezWednesday, May 3, 2017

From tomatoes to trucks to timber, disputes among the three countries of the North American Free Trade Agreement have been a reality of the deal since its implementation in 1994. After criticizing the trade relationship with Mexico throughout his presidential campaign and first months of his administration, U.S. President Donald Trump more recently pivoted to pointing fingers at the northern neighbor, highlighting issues with exporting dairy to Canada and importing lumber from it.

Whether over tomatoes or timber, Canada, Mexico, and the United States have had their fair share of disagreements since the trade deal's 1994 implementation.

Weekly Chart: NAFTA by the Numbers

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 11:40

Weekly Chart: NAFTA by the Numbers

InfographicsHolly K. SonnelandWednesday, May 3, 2017

After months of claiming the North American Free Trade Agreement had “destroyed” the U.S. economy and even drafting an executive order for U.S.

Canada and Mexico occupy the top two export destination spots for 26 U.S. states, including eight of the 10 biggest state economies.

LatAm in Focus: Fitch's Rafael Guedes on Brazil's Economy

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 13:43

LatAm in Focus: Fitch's Rafael Guedes on Brazil's Economy

PodcastsLuisa LemeTuesday, May 2, 2017

The rating agency’s managing director in Brazil explains the country’s rocky road toward growth.

Weekly Chart: The Economics of Tourism in Latin America and the Caribbean

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:20

Weekly Chart: The Economics of Tourism in Latin America and the Caribbean

InfographicsGabrielle Rocha RiosThursday, April 27, 2017

Cancún may be the top international destination American college students hit during spring break, but they’re not the only ones who favor Mexico as a vacation destination. In 2015, Mexico was the top international destination across the board for U.S. travelers, with 28.7 million Americans heading to the country that year. 

Mexico, ranked the most competitive country in the region by the World Economic Forum, gets 7 percent of its GDP from tourism revenues.

Viewpoint: Macri's Visit to Washington Signals Thaw in U.S.-Argentina Ties Is Still On

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 17:31

Viewpoint: Macri's Visit to Washington Signals Thaw in U.S.-Argentina Ties Is Still On

Viewpoints AmericasJuan Cruz DíazMegan CookWednesday, April 26, 2017

Photos of then-U.S. President Barack Obama and his Argentine counterpart Mauricio Macri laughing and joking together with spouses in the resort town of Bariloche last year sent a clear message: the frosty relationship between their two nations was warming up.

Macri’s April 27 visit to Washington—the first by an Argentine president to the White House in more than a decade—seeks to consolidate the sense of “coming in from the cold” by strengthening both the relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump and cooperation mechanisms.

Mending fences

The Argentine president meets with Donald Trump on April 27.

Venezuela Update: 3 Things to Know about Maduro's Remaining 2 Years in Office

Wed, 04/19/2017 - 17:46

Venezuela Update: 3 Things to Know about Maduro's Remaining 2 Years in Office

Hemispheric UpdatesHolly K. SonnelandWednesday, April 19, 2017

April 19 marks four years since Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s six-year term began—an anniversary thousands of Venezuelans are marking with massive protests throughout the country. Two people have died in Wednesday’s protests, according to early reports, with another five fatalities in protests the week prior.

Venezuelans are marking April 19, their president’s fourth anniversary in office, with mass protests. Here are issues to keep in mind for the rest of his six-year term.

Weekly Chart: Latin America's 2017 Economic Outlook Gets a Revision

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 17:46

Weekly Chart: Latin America's 2017 Economic Outlook Gets a Revision

InfographicsElizabeth GonzalezTuesday, April 18, 2017

The International Monetary Fund's April World Economic Outlook report has good news for the world, but not so much for Latin America. While the Fund boosted its estimate for global GDP growth by 0.1 percent, it cut projections for Latin America and the Caribbean by 0.5 percent. Now the world is expected to grow 3.5 percent in 2017, while the region’s total GDP will expand just 1.1 percent.

The IMF’s April World Economic Outlook report has better news for global growth than for the region.

Weekly Chart: Where Does Latin America Stand on Marijuana Legalization?

Thu, 04/13/2017 - 14:02

Weekly Chart: Where Does Latin America Stand on Marijuana Legalization?

InfographicsElizabeth GonzalezThursday, April 13, 2017

Uruguay is about to take the lead with over-the-counter sales of marijuana in pharmacies. In 2013, it became the first country in the world to legalize consumption, along with marijuana’s sale and cultivation. Come July 2017, Uruguay’s recreational users and medical patients alike will be able to visit their local pharmacies for up to 40 grams of cannabis a month, or they can opt to grow it at home.

As Uruguay prepares to sell the drug in local pharmacies, here’s where the rest of the region stands.

Brazil's Never-Ending Corruption Crisis

Thu, 04/13/2017 - 13:41

Brazil's Never-Ending Corruption Crisis

Articles & Op-EdsBrian WinterThursday, April 13, 2017

Six decades ago, long before the Brazilian Senate’s August 2016 vote to impeach President Dilma Rousseff and remove her from office, one of the most beloved leaders in the country’s history was besieged by scandals of his own. President Getúlio Vargas, a stocky, gravelly voiced gaucho from Brazil’s deep south, had granted new rights, including paid vacation, to a generation of workers in the 1930s and 1940s.

It’s time for Brazil to take a radically new approach to prevent corruption, writes AS/COA’s Brian Winter for Foreign Affairs.

LatAm in Focus: What's Happening with Colombia's FARC Peace Process?

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 11:28

LatAm in Focus: What's Happening with Colombia's FARC Peace Process?

PodcastsHolly K. SonnelandWednesday, April 12, 2017

Virginia Bouvier of the U.S. Institute of Peace talks about how everything from elections to the weather is affecting Colombia’s landmark deal with the guerrillas.

Is There Hope for Change in Venezuela?

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 12:36

Is There Hope for Change in Venezuela?

Articles & Op-EdsEric FarnsworthSaturday, April 8, 2017

Venezuela is in free fall, and it’s already presenting an early foreign-policy challenge for the new Trump administration. Once Latin America’s wealthiest nation and a tourist destination touted in airline ads from the 1950s, Venezuela now faces shortages of food and basic medicines, galloping inflation, a multi-year recession, and a massive drain of human capital as the professional class abandons a sinking ship.

Without economic reform, there’s no immediate way for the government to address Venezuela’s troubles, writes AS/COA’s Eric Farnsworth for Barron’s.

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