Good Neighbors Again?


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The session will feature: Juan Gabriel Valdés, Chile’s ambassador to the United States who served as foreign minister; Carlos Gutiérrez, former US Secretary of Commerce and now a chair of Albright Stonebridge Group; and Richard Feinberg, former special assistant to President Clinton and senior director of the National Security Council’s Office of Inter-American Affairs, now professor of international political economy at the University of California, San Diego. Ambassador Valdés and Secretary Gutiérrez will offer commentary on a recent Brookings Institution policy brief that Feinberg, also a nonresident senior fellow at Brookings, co-authored (along with Harold Trinkunas and Emily Miller): “Better Than You Think: Reframing Inter-American Relations.”

The brief counters what it sees as a popular view that the recent US relationship with Latin America has been one of “retreat and decline.” The authors argue that such assessments underestimate the current state of the US-Latin American relations. They outline core US economic, political and security interests in the region and conclude that these “have never been stronger.” Looking ahead, the brief sets forth six policy recommendations, including that Washington acknowledge the lack of consensus in the hemisphere and “focus on ad-hoc coalitions of partners.”



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