Americas partnership more pie in the sky: China Daily editorial
Rather than promote common development of the United States' neighbors to the south, the "Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity" that US President Joe Biden proposed at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles on Wednesday aims to counter China's influence in the region at the cost of the countries themselves.
The initiative, like its recently announced "Indo-Pacific" sibling, is clearly a work in progress, a means to bring countries together under the leadership of the US to contain China by driving wedges between China and its partners.
The two initiatives are all take and no give. With no tariff relief or access to the US market, they are one-way deals in which the participating countries must keep their market, trade, industries and technologies transparent to Washington. They are obliged to reject all products, investments and assistance that do not have Washington's seal of approval.
"We have to invest in making sure our trade is sustainable and responsible in creating supply chains that are more resilient, more secure and more sustainable," Biden said.
The other attendees will no doubt have recognized that he was employing a sort of "royal we", and was simply using the plural pronoun in place of the United States.
Likewise, they will recognize his use of the majestic plural in his remarks about the summit being an opportunity for the attending countries to come together to demonstrate democracy is the essential ingredient for "Americas' future" — the apostrophe clearly meant to be placed one letter back.
In other words, the two initiatives are unfair treaties that violate the principles of fair and equitable international trade, compromise the sovereignty of the participating countries and cause tremendous damage to global supply chains and world trade stability. They indicate that the US feels no qualms about dividing world trade and the global economy into a US-dominated system and a non-US one.
The economic partnership Biden unveiled for the Americas represents the latest version of the Monroe Doctrine. Well aware of that, few Latin American countries, particularly those that have not yet agreed a free trade deal with the US, will be interested in joining it, despite any enthusiasm they may have feigned at the summit.
The Biden administration pledged that the US would encourage more private investment in the countries participating in the Americas' partnership. But this is a promise it has made to African countries as well. One that has never materialized. Indeed, private investment and government investment and assistance to the continent have subsequently declined.
The two partnerships for prosperity are nothing more than pies Biden has drawn in the sky.