On Thursday, July 7, 2022, Global Americans and the Caribbean Policy Consortium hosted an event to discuss the Summit of the Americas and its implications for the Caribbean and the hemisphere more generally.
- Guy Mentel (President, Global Americans)
- Georges Fauriol (Global Americans Caribbean Fellow and Co-Chair, Carribean Policy Consortium)
- David Lewis (Co-Chair, Caribbean Policy consortium)
- Amparo Mercader (Partner, PwC)
- Richard Feinberg (Professor Emeritus, UC San Diego and Member of the Global Americans International Advisory Council)
- Alicia Nicholls (Research Fellows, Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy, & Services)
Georges Fauriol began the event with an opening presentation, summarizing the outcomes of the Summit of the Americas, held last month in Los Angeles. Even before the summit took place, it had already generated controversy among regional leaders due to the exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Several of the initiatives launched at the summit—including the Americas Partnership for Prosperity, the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030, and the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection—risk becoming little more than “policy by pronouncement” unless countries follow up with proper implementation.
Following Fauriol’s comments, Guy Mentel moderated a discussion among the panelists. The conversation covered climate change mitigation and adaptation, trade and investment, nearshoring, regional integration, immigration, energy, and the crisis in Haiti, among other topics.
Georges Fauriol: “Often the side-shows at summits (between varying actors like NGOs and the private sector) are quite positive for building consensus. Particularly for the Caribbean at this summit, on food and energy security.”
Georges Fauriol: “[The IX Summit of the Americas] furthered a U.S. tendency of instituting policy by pronouncement.”
Alicia Nicholls: “[The fact that] Cuba is one of the largest sources of immigration to the U.S. provides some context as to why some Caribbean governments insisted on Cuba’s inclusion at the summit.”
Alicia Nicholls: “The flow of guns is an important issue that needs to be addressed as it has had serious implications for the Caribbean. A great number of guns are coming in illegally from the United States. There are also implications for investments, with regards to developing purposes, as investors won’t invest in development projects that they believe will be shot up or ruined.”
David Lewis: “[For Southern Caribbean countries,] climate change is an endemic, existential threat, but that these countries need income, jobs, and opportunities today. Those needs must feature in any diplomatic discussion.”
David Lewis: “For the very first time, the demand from the region in this case, CARICOM is now putting the items on the agenda to the US, not being an agenda taker, but being an agenda maker.”
Richard Feinberg: “[At the first Summit of the Americas in 1994,] Argentina led the call for the [Free Trade Area of the Americas], Brazil championed democracy promotion, and Honduras and Venezuela put forward proposals on corruption. How have things changed since.”
Richard Feinberg: “I give points to the administration for not focusing on China. It was never explicitly brought up, and they deserve credit on that.”
Amparo Mercader: “If the U.S. cannot agree on [a free trade agreement]; customs agreements, services promotion, and double-taxation agreements would be welcome compromises.”
Amparo Mercader: “Nearshoring is as much a political as a business move. It builds resilience and diversifies resources, just in case. Many U.S. companies are diversifying resources away from China, but instead of relocating to the hemisphere, [they’re moving] mostly to other Asian countries.”
Read Richard Feinberg’s article in Global Americans: IX Summit of the Americas: Creative Diplomacy for a Fractured World.
Read Guy Mentel and Jackson Mihm’s article in Global Americans: The U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030: A Timely Initiative Worthy of Serious Investment.
Learn more about the Caribbean Policy Consortium: www.cpccaribbean.org.
Learn more about the Global Americans High-Level Working Group on Climate Change in the Caribbean: https://theglobalamericans.org/climate-change-caribbean/.