Otavalo, Ecuador Anthony Asael/Art in All of Us/Getty Images

Latin America’s Trump Problem

Donald Trump reached the White House by bringing out the worst in the US electorate, stoking xenophobic and other dangerous impulses to advance his campaign. The question for Latin Americans is whether his administration will bring on the worst – both economically and politically – for them.

SANTIAGO – Donald Trump reached the White House by bringing out the worst in the United States’ electorate. Will his administration now bring on the worst – both economically and politically – for Latin Americans?

The initial signs are nothing if not ominous. Not since the days of gunboat diplomacy a century ago has a yanqui leader treated the countries south of the US border and their citizens so badly. Trump infamously branded Mexican migrants rapists and murderers. Guatemalans, Ecuadoreans, and Colombians, though not explicitly mentioned, did not feel particularly reassured.

With US participation in the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) dead in the water, the next question is whether Trump will make good on his vow to renegotiate the rules governing the North American Free Trade Area, or even to pull out of NAFTA altogether. Trade agreements with Central America, Colombia, Chile, and Peru could also be at risk.

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