Last week, when tensions between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Pena Nieto, boiled over, Latin American leaders followed the news with great interest. As they strategized about the way forward under the new U.S. administration, the signals from Washington confirmed their fears that the Trump administration will unleash new headwinds for a region where many countries are facing mounting difficulties.
The spectacle of watching a fellow Latin American nation berated and, in many people’s opinion, insulted by the man in the White House produced a wave of diplomatic reactions. But more than anything, it spurred a renewed determination to look for alternatives to the partnership with the United States, which is now viewed as unreliable and unpredictable.
The winner in this realignment will almost certainly be China, a country that has been working very deliberately to make inroads in the region.