Latin America's economic growth is set to come in lower than expected this year, as US protectionism and widespread wariness of emerging markets put a drag on the region, a UN panel said Thursday. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) slashed its growth forecast for the region by 0.7 point to 1.5%, saying the complex global scenario had dimmed the outlook since its last report in April.
The threat of trade protectionism is the biggest concern looming over a solid upswing in the global economy, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said. The “darkest cloud” on the economic horizon is the “determination of some to actually rock the system that has actually presided over the trade relationships that we have all undertaken and enjoyed to some extent over the last many decades”, said Lagarde.
China and South Korea are seeking to establish free trade agreements with Mercosur in a strategic response to Washington's increasingly protectionist stance. The East Asian initiatives have resonated well in a region where Washington is keeping its distance. U.S. President Donald Trump has not visited a single Latin American country since taking office in January 2017, and chose not to attend the Summit of the Americas, which recently concluded in Peru.
Germany and Argentina want to uphold a pledge to keep international trade free at a summit of the world’s 20 largest economies in Buenos Aires this week, the countries’ finance ministers said on Sunday.
The tendency to impose trade-restricting measures remains strong among the European Union's commercial partners, fuelling continuing uncertainty in the world economy. These are the main findings of the European Commission's annual report on protectionism published Monday 17 November.
US Trade Representative Ron Kirk urged the Brazilian government in a letter sent on Wednesday to reconsider plans for protectionist tariff increases expected to hurt US exports.
Chile has emerged as the most globalized economy in Latin America and moved up to 25th place in the world, according to global consulting firm Ernst & Young. Chile is among the countries to improve their position despite global economic uncertainty, the firm’s annual Globalization Index found.
The world's trading nations are succumbing to protectionism in the wake of the global financial crisis, limiting exports of food and raw materials and installing new import barriers, the WTO warned.
European Union’s top trade negotiator, Karel de Gucht, accused Argentina of being “the great obstacle” in an association agreement between the EU and Mercosur, and threatened to take the case before the WTO.