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Why doesnt the US talk about topics other than drugs and immigration with Latin American countries? doesnt it make sense to talk trade?

Whenever we hear about US foreign relations with Latin American a lot of the dialogue is about drugs and immigration. There is a great emphasis placed on combating the drug trade and it seems like every American administration bases foreign policy with LatAm on combating the so called ¨war on drugs.¨ The topic of illegal immigration is grouped with the topic of drugs and it seems like these are the only topics the US is ever interested in talking about.

Now that almost all significant economic growth is based in emerging economies, wouldn´t it be smarter to change the discourse to one of trade and investment? is there no interest amongst the American public to engage Latin American countries in dialouge that can lead to mutual beneficence?

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    Oct 5 2012: Maybe because they do trade instead of talking about it? Maybe you watch too much of the main stream media?

    Look at how much trade occurs between the U.S. and Mexico and that it is close to what we do with
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        Oct 6 2012: I think that is what the media puts out. Canada is the U.S. biggest trading partner it gets no mention at all. Problems are what the media talks about.
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    Oct 5 2012: From the American peoples perspective... End the drug war... and "We're fine, you need some money or tech?". Part of the problem here is... Only the uber rich in America think "Now that almost all significant economic growth is based in emerging economies"... They're going to make a bunch of money, taking advantage of poor people in "emerging" economies. Regular men and women here... aren't going to make a dime off "emerging" economies, we make money off labor, just like regular people, everywhere else.

    Making money off the suffering of poor people, only became the norm of the working class in the western world recently. Many people of conscious see how little we pay for labor in the third world, and how much debt we're putting them in, as the re institution of slavery, and we're completely opposed to it. Politicians, think this is wonderful, and it's incredibly kind of us to take advantage of the slow growth of emerging economies. Rich people believe that nonsense too. What you're basically saying with that statement, is "Dictatorship, monarchy, poverty, and misery, are a truly wonderful investment in 2012"

    "It's easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of god"... I'm not even religious... but wisdom is wisdom, replace the word god with happiness.
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      Oct 6 2012: People obviously do buy products produced through what they would consider exploitation of labor. But just as people who are not vegetarians tend to try not to think too much about the live versions of the animals they are eating, people buying, say, electronics made by workers in emerging economies may well prefer not to talk about or think about the details.
      I don't think they are all buying local.
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        Oct 6 2012: My point is that they want to buy locally, but the government has granted incentives, to transfer jobs created by the innovation of their community, overseas. People want to buy and Apple phone made in America, they want Chinese people to buy IPhones made in China. We want to stop taking advantage of people, but our government, will not let us.

        What this argument is often confused with, is protectionism. It is not. I want free trade between China and the US... but, when the US invents a product, and US citizens buy it, the only way it could be cheaper to make that product in China, is if oil is subsidized by the government, and Chinese wages are opressively low. Remove the subsidy, Apple makes for American demand here, and Chinese demand there. Chinese corporations make for American demand here, and Chinese demand there.

        Cost of transportation, should be making this system impossible to sustain, and young Americans are furious that old people are destroying the planet, to take advantage of cheap labor, while reducing employment for their own children.
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          Oct 6 2012: Are you saying that electronic items and inexpensive clothing manufactured oversees are being purchased mainly by old people while young people steer away from these things, or are you saying that old people are responsible for everyones purchases because old people in government have through government policy made these products from overseas attractive to the budget conscious shopper?
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        Oct 6 2012: I'm saying that before I came of age, all American made simple labor products had been taken off the market, and all labor unions were destroyed... So I no longer have the option of purchasing things made locally... I can only contribute to the destruction of my own economy until it collapses. Unless the largest voting block in the country, the baby boomers, finally decide to become educated citizens pay for what they want, and impose tariffs on dictators... I have no say in the matter.

        Young people are following old people off a cliff like lemmings in this country.
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    Oct 5 2012: Well there are two sides to this... The American government, and the American people.

    Ending the war on drugs, is the only issue, that almost 50% of the American people support, and less than 10% of politicians support. Okay, to be fair, 50% of the people support ending the war on marijuana, not drugs... but, the juicy secret here, is that marijuana is the only drug the government really wants to make illegal, more specifically hemp, it's non narcotic cousin. Hemp can be grown, where most crops cannot, and it makes a fantastic bio fuel, protein powder, paper, and clothing... It's way cheaper than cotton, soy beans, sustainable logging, and sugar cane fuels... So the largest lobbies in the world have every American politician, convinced it's evil.

    The pharmaceutical industry, is more against marijuana, because they have cocaine and heroin to sell to children, and marijuana is far less addictive, or profitable. This is the least democratic issue in the country, and the most acute example of the American Empire emerging from the rubble of a once free society.

    Despite all the money spent demonizing narcotics in this country, still nearly half the populace believes the war on drugs is prohibition, and a failure... but no one on mainstream television talks about it, save in comedy shows.

    Why do politicians seem to only care about the narcotics issues when dealing with Latin America? Propaganda, pure and simple. They're trying to convince you that they have a hard line on drugs, because they don't want you to consider decriminallization. They also don't want you to ask why the American people are so desperate for drugs, that profit from the industry accounts for a huge percent of latin American export. Unfortunately, there is one other issue. Americans don't really want any Latin American products... If it's not illegal to make it here, we'd rather buy from our own people and support the local economy.
  • Oct 5 2012: David is mostly right. CAFTA is there, trade is happening but no one wants to talk abut it because so much of it is actually bad for the people of the US AND the central americas. It is abusive to people in both countries and the drug war is profitable. My personal pet peeve is the grains and corn trade which put local C.A. farmers out of business and then replaced their crops with monsanto engineered crops that made the farmers dependent on monsanto for grain and pesticides. It also reduced the biodiversity of the corns grown in C.A.

    If I lived in Central America I'd be looking for trade partners but steering clear of the US.