Latin America First!

It is obvious that Donald Trump’s arrival to the White House as President of the United States has direct implications for Latin America, not only in terms of immigration, as we have already seen, but also asregards economic issues.

Neoliberal logic has been implemented in much of the region,and it has caused our economic relations to bestrongly entrenchedin the US economy. For example, the bulk of exports from Latin American is shipped to that market. This is not by chance, but because we have an export sector linked to American multinational companies.

A potential exit from these American multinational companies or a reduction in their expansion in our region could be a reality in the short term if incentives were put in place by Donald Trump’s government. At Latindadd, weview this as an opportunity to strengthen integration and economic cooperation.

Latin America has an obligation to emphasize how itviews itself, and this must be understood by the powerfuleconomicelites in the region. It is time to strengthen the regional internal market, to bet on expanding the Latin American market, enhancingareas such as the Mercosur and CELAC (Community of Latin American & Caribbean States) areas, which should play a fundamental role in this process.

To that end, it is indispensable to abandon the logic of free trade that favors competitiveness, and replace it with the logic of economic complementarity. A neo structuralism, with all the lessons learned that have left us with years of fratricidal struggle for direct foreign investment.

It is also time to strengthen the areas of regional integration that we have been building as vehicles to promote joint action against Trump’sracist, xenophobic and discriminatory attacks. Unasur and Celac are extremely important in this regard. Likewise, the Ecuadorean Pro Tempore Presidency at the G77 is a great opportunity that we cannot afford to miss.

It is time to strengthen tax and fiscal cooperation, eliminating the “race to the bottom” that neoliberalism has stimulated through fiscal privileges to foreign investment. We must jointly confront tax havens that facilitate taxevasion and avoidance that rob our countriesso much.

It is time for a new regional financial architecture, which enables us to take advantage of our international monetary reserves in the light of the development of our peoples and not the speculation of transnational capital. Strengthening the action of the Banco del Sur (Bank of the South) is fundamental right now.

It is time to take serious action against this corruption that isencouraged by national economic elites and multinationals, whichbribeour political structures so as to force our national Statesto yield to them. We must go all the way in order to unravel the network of corruption created by Oberdrecht throughout Latin America, as well as to put an end to the capture of the States, revolving doors and business lobbies.

It is time to forge a broad alliance between the Latin American social movement,and the progressive and left political forces in Latin America. By doing this, we stand to revitalize an economic, financial, social, cultural and environmental proposal that favors the large majority of peoplewhoare currently excluded in our continent.This proposal will playagainst the counter-offensive racist, xenophobic, homophobic and discriminatorywave that is spreading not only in the United States, but also in Europe.

Our America, March 2017