Biden's 'Ambitious' Economic Plan for Latin America Offers a 'Social Contract,' Not Trade

By Steven Overly

China is trying to promote the idea that their system and their model is at least equal to Western democracy, said AS/COA's Eric Farnsworth to Politico.

When President Joe Biden travels to Los Angeles for the Summit of the Americas this week, he will pitch leaders from across the Western Hemisphere on what the White House is dubbing a “new and ambitious economic agenda” — but it will not include new trade agreements.

Biden will outline a proposal on Wednesday called the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity that aims to mobilize new investments in the region, fortify supply chains, promote decarbonization and biodiversity, facilitate inclusive trade and update the “social contract” between governments and their people, a senior administration official told reporters Monday. […]

Eric Farnsworth, a Clinton administration alum who leads the Washington office of the Council of the Americas and the Americas Society, says business and government leaders in Latin America regularly ask him why the U.S. isn’t fighting harder to maintain favor in the region.

“China is in a global battle for hearts and minds and trying to promote the idea that their system and their model is at least equal to, if not superior to, liberal Western democracy,” Farnsworth said. “If you can get populations in emerging markets around the world to have essentially a moral equivalence between Western democracy and Chinese communist governance, that’s a major strategic victory for China.”

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