Biden Aims to Challenge China in Latin America With B3W

Biden Aims to Challenge China in Latin America With B3W
Vice President Kamala Harris is greeted as she exits Air Force Two on arrival in Guatemala City, June 6, 2021 (AP photo by Jacquelyn Martin).

While the Biden administration tries to navigate the domestic political obstacles to implementing the president’s so-called Build Back Better plan, it has quietly started laying the groundwork for a parallel program with major geopolitical implications. Just getting off the ground, Build Back Better World, or B3W, is a plan to improve global infrastructure, widely defined, with an eye to not only raise living standards but, just as importantly, to counter China’s growing influence.

The idea was formally announced by the Group of Seven leaders during the G-7 summit last June. It aims to take on China’s high-profile Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI, but in a way that contrasts sharply with China’s most controversial practices, while deliberately highlighting the distinctions between the two initiatives by emphasizing partnerships built on values and transparency.

B3W will formally launch next year, but preparations are now underway to make Latin America a key focus of the strategy. The initiative had its most visible moment yet last week, during a tour of the region by high-level U.S. officials, who met with heads of state and other key players in several countries.

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