CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Dr. Carol Wise Presentation Summary

November 14th, 2019

For the third presentation of the 2019 Fall Speaker Series, CIPR welcomed Dr. Carol Wise, an Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California, to speak on her current book project with a presentation titled ‘€œUS-China Trade War: Impact on Latin America‘€.

Dr. Wise started the talk by outlining the origins of the trade war. President Xi Jingping‘€™s decisions to ‘€œbacktrack‘€ on economic reforms that allowed China‘€™s initial entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO) along with China‘€™s surprisingly fast entrance into western markets has led to heightened international tensions and a call for increased transparency regarding Chinese economic pursuits.

In her manuscript, Dr. Wise includes the impact of the trade war on six Latin American countries. She named Brazil and Mexico to be the two clear winners in the scenario as Brazil experienced an economic boom from the opening of the Chinese soy bean market and, despite poor diplomatic relations between Mexico and China, Mexico benefited greatly from expanding manufactured, value added exports to China and receiving excess car production needs from the US. She explained Costa Rica, Chile, and Peru also benefitted to a certain extent from the introduction of their raw materials to Chinese markets. She ended the talk with an explanation of what she calls an ‘€œinstitutional resource curse‘€ to mark the evolution of Argentina and Brazil‘€™s economic growth during the commodity boom with increased investments from China to a prolonged economic depression tied to the countries‘€™ corruption scandals.

The Q&A session included discussions surrounding anti-Chinese sentiments in Mexico, the role of European countries and Venezuela in the trade war, and the US government‘€™s level of concern towards Chinese investments in Latin America. All in attendance expressed gratitude to Dr. Wise for shedding light on such an important contemporary topic.