The Summit of the Americas Amounted to a Long To-Do List

The Summit of the Americas Amounted to a Long To-Do List
U.S. President Joe Biden hosts a meeting with heads of state and government at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, June 10, 2022 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

The U.S.-hosted Summit of the Americas wrapped up in Los Angeles on June 10 with decidedly mixed results. After a run-up to the summit dominated by discussions over who would attend, the event itself was a flurry of activity by hundreds of government, business and civil society participants. Those who care about outcomes were left to sort through five official accords, a slew of side agreements and several U.S. government announcements.

In making sense of the summit’s outcomes, three overarching themes become clear. First, dysfunctional relations between the U.S. and many regional governments continue to hobble U.S. diplomacy in the Americas. Second, Washington’s hemispheric agenda is primarily shaped by its global preoccupations. And finally, in areas where global concerns are less prominent, U.S. domestic politics loom in the background of its regional agenda.

This year’s gathering of regional leaders, the ninth since the inaugural summit in 1994, highlighted the stale and dysfunctional political dynamics that continue to burden relations between the U.S. and regional governments. The first Summit of the Americas, held in Miami, was animated by a post-Cold War sense that unity in the Western Hemisphere could be achieved through democracy and market-led growth. But that optimistic vision was never able to overcome the painful legacy of U.S. intervention in the region, often ignored by U.S. officials, as well as the self-serving opposition by many leaders in Latin America and the Caribbean to a U.S.-led hemisphere-wide project.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.