How to Make Nearshoring in Latin America a Reality

In an Americas Quarterly launch, panelists discussed globalization's role in Latin American economies.


  • José Antonio Meade, former Secretary of Finance and Public Credit of Mexico @JoseAMeadeK
  • Shannon K. O’Neil, Vice President, Deputy Director of Studies and Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations @shannonkoneil
  • Cecilia Tornaghi, Senior Director for Policy at AS/COA and Managing Editor of Americas Quarterly @ctornaghi (moderator)

In a panel launching Americas Quarterly's new issue, the panelists talked about how countries across the Americas stand to gain from nearshoring opportunities.

"We have to invest more heavily in education" in order for greater proportions of populations to enjoy the benefits of nearshoring, said José Antonio Meade at the Americas Quarterly launch event. He noted that trade, by and large, resulted in positive trends in the region but not everyone was a winner. You can read the former minister's argument in an AQ article.

Shannon K. O'Neil noted that globalization isn't as broad as we perceive. "There are almost 90 countries where, over the last 40 years, trade as a percentage of GDP... either stayed the same or declined," she said, citing that only about  two dozen countries saw it grow.

On a positive note, the green transition is an areas where Latin America is better poised than other regions. O'Neil noted that 50 percent of electricity produced in the region is already green, and that several countries have abundant sun, wind, and geothermal energy. O'Neil wrote a feature piece about globalization in this AQ issue.

For his part, Meade stressed the need for North America to extend gas pipelines from northern Mexico into the country's south. This, he said, would allow North America to compete as a bloc with countries in Southeast Asia. He argued, too, that between Mexico and Russia, the former would be missed to a greater degree if it were to be removed from a global trade context.