The Consequences of Trade Inaction in Latin America

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl) writes,

An unacceptable consequence of America taking our Latin American neighbors for granted is that China, among other nations, has capitalized on our complacency, signed their own deals, and made great strides to surpass America as the region’s leading trade partner.

Losing our competitive advantage to China is a particular concern. As Senator Lugar’s report points out, “In South America, China has replaced the United States as Brazil’s largest trading partner. … Today, China is Colombia’s second largest trading partner after the United States. The [Private Sector Competitiveness] Council predicts that China will supplant the United States as the leading trade partner within 10 years if current trends continue without a U.S.-Colombia FTA.”

America’s trade complacency is unacceptable. We should be an indispensable friend to our Latin American neighbors, but instead we are being replaced as their leading trading partner and most reliable ally.

In the 21st-century economy, America cannot effectively compete with China and other nations if we don’t aggressively move to open new markets to American products and services. We simply cannot accept an American trade policy that is a fool-proof plan to lose American jobs, alienate our friends, and allow America to be diminished.

Unfortunately, the current administration in Washington appears to want America to be diminished … permanently.

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