The idea of giving economic aid to a country is a noble one. Giving sovereign nations money to expand their economies, education levels, basic health, and to instill peace within their borders has been something the United States has done for nearly a century. However, giving them money is inconsequential; it is where that money goes, and how that money is used that matters. By citing instances of economic aid within Latin America in 2017, one can see just that, making one ponder the question; is the aid helping to advance these countries, or is it not helping in any significant way?
Economy and Development
Brazil is one of the most influential economies and democracies in the world. Its population is mostly urban, which makes the citizens more accustomed to modern life. This makes Brazil an easy recipient for the United States to send aid to for the betterment of democracy and society overall. However, there is still need in Brazil for US foreign aid. In the following article, I will be looking at the US aid to improve law enforcement and counterterrorism efforts.
Law Enforcement in 2014 and 2016
In December of 2014, United States President Barack Obama made a monumental announcement that he planned to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba after the 50-year embargo. The embargo was to be kept in place, but steps were to be taken to loosen it. An embassy was to be built in Cuba to increase diplomatic ties. Measures were taken to increase financial freedoms between the two countries.
In the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s many Latin American countries adopted neoliberal economic policies. Many countries faced negative economic and social results due to the policy shift and reverted to more domestic oriented markets. With that said, in recent years many Latin American countries, such as Brazil, have pushed back into neoliberalist policies. This comes as especially odd considering many global economic powers such as the US, UK, and China are shifting to domestic focused and protectionist policies.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect on January 1st, 1994. The goal of the agreement was to eliminate barriers to help promote positive trade and investment between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. To accomplish this, tariffs were eradicated over time and almost “all duties and quantitative restrictions…were eliminated by 2008,” (“North American Free Trade Agreement”).