Daudelin: Should building ties in Latin America be a policy priority for Canada?
Associate professor, Carleton University
Two things: 1) Canadians and the Canadian government must stop seeing Latin America as a single whole. Increasingly close ties already exist between Canada and a number of countries, particularly those that make up the Pacific Alliance (mainly Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Chile). These countries have global outlooks that are very much in tune with Canada’s and are they open for business. Brazil is unavoidable, in part because it is a massive market, albeit one that is difficult to penetrate, but also because it is the key to the management of South America’s stability and security issues. 2) Even those countries, however, cannot qualify as foreign policy priorities. Growing investments in, and trade with, the region, still represent a very small part of Canada’s economic presence abroad and the security predicament of the region – e.g. the instability that could result from Venezuela’s current succession – has very little bearing on the security of Canadians.