WASHINGTON – The Central American nations, along with Mexico and Cuba, could be the Latin American areas hurt worst by the policies of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, experts say.
Mexico and Central America are heavily dependent on U.S. trade and on emigration to the northern giant, while Cuba, amid the political rapprochement begun by President Barack Obama, could see those advances rolled back or further progress delayed.
Analysts say, however, that it is expected that the policy professionals advising the controversial Republican magnate on trade and foreign policy will persuade him not to do some of the worst things he has promised.
Although little is known so far about who is giving advice to Trump on Latin America, his electoral promises certainly are known, Ted Piccone, an expert on Latin American relations with the Brookings Institution, told EFE.
He also noted that the measures Trump could implement when he takes office in January could include the increased deportation of undocumented immigrants, along with reducing access to benefits and social services to other people.
That would hit the countries who have sent the most undocumented migrants to the United States especially hard – including Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico.
Regarding trade, Piccone said that the New York mogul’s plans to overturn the North American Free Trade Agreement could penalize U.S. companies who are moving their factories – and jobs – to Mexico.
But he said he does not believe that other U.S. trade accords with the region will be as directly affected as NAFTA.
University of Michigan international economics Prof. Alan Deardorff said that if Trump does all the things on trade policy that he said he would do during the campaign if would be a “disaster” for the United States and for world trade but he added that he doesn’t think Trump will be able to do all the things he promised to do.
To court the Cuban exile vote, Trump promised to link the continued normalization of relations undertaken by Obama to advances on human rights and freedoms on the communist island.