Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, December 16th, 2018

U.S. Seeks To Outshine China at Latam Summit, Without Trump

U.S. Seeks To Outshine China at  Latam Summit, Without Trump

LIMA/WASHINGTON - Latin American leaders will gather in Lima, Peru, on Friday at a summit the United States hopes to use to counter China’s rising influence in the region, despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s last-minute decision not to attend.
The official theme of this year’s Summit of the Americas, where heads of state in the Western Hemisphere will meet through Saturday, is corruption. Several countries attending also plan to condemn Venezuela’s upcoming election.
But U.S. and Chinese trade will loom large over talks as a heated dispute between the world’s two biggest economies continues to fan fears of a trade war.
The tensions spilled over into Latin America this week, with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross disparaging Chinese trade in a speech in Lima and promising that Washington will not cede leadership in the region to “authoritarian states.”
Ross said U.S. trade was better for local economies, and called on Latin American leaders to do more to lower tariffs and cut red tape.
But some who had traveled to Lima said the United States had lost sway.
“Trump’s plan seems to be to ensure the U.S. is no longer the world’s leader,” Gustavo Grobocopatel, the chief executive of an Argentine agricultural group, told Reuters at a joint summit for business leaders on Thursday.
In the past week, Trump has threatened to slap more tariffs on Chinese goods, said he was in no hurry to reach a deal on the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and ordered his advisors to study rejoining the TPP.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama had pitched the TPP, or Trans Pacific Partnership, as a way to give the United States an edge over China in a fast-growing region that includes large swaths of Latin America. But Trump called the TPP a job-killer and withdrew the United States from the multilateral trade deal in one of his first acts as president. (Reuters)