Central America, China, and the US: What Prospects for Development?
Central America remains among the poorest subregions of Latin America, and many Central American countries are among the hemisphere's most dependent upon primary-product exports. Unlike other commodity exporters in Latin America, however, Central American countries have not benefitted from booming Chinese demand for primary products. We use a series of measures to assess Central American countries' trade structure, and find that they face increasing competition from Chinese products in third-country markets (like Mexico) but also little complementarity with Chinese demand (unlike Argentina or Chile). Central American countries continue to be very dependent upon the US market for exports—and, to a lesser extent, for foreign direct investment and foreign aid inflows—though dependence upon the US has slipped even as most of the countries in the subregion have entered into a preferential trade agreement with the US. The pattern of exports has shifted from agricultural to assembly plant manufactures in several countries, and Costa Rica now exports sophisticated manufactured products to the US and China alike. We explore the role that diplomatic relations may have played in Central America's tepid China trade: all Central American countries save Costa Rica (since 2007) recognize Taiwan and not the People's Republic of China. We end with some considerations of development strategies in the region.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2015
More about this publication?
- Pacific Affairs is a peer-reviewed, independent, and interdisciplinary scholarly journal focusing on important current political, economic and social issues throughout Asia and the Pacific. Each issue contains approximately five new articles and 40-50 book reviews. Published continuously as a quarterly since 1928 under the same name, it is the oldest English-language journal with a focus on Asia and the Pacific. It enjoys an international reputation based on the high quality of articles, and its extensive book reviews section.
- Editorial Board
- Information for Authors
- Submit a Paper
- Subscribe to this Title
- Information for Advertisers
- Book Reviews
- Free Sample Issue
- Library Recommendation Form
- Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites