By Selva Freigedo – Port Phillip Insider (Australia) –
Latin America is key to the US economy. Mexico and Brazil are the largest Latin American trading partners, receiving 18% of the total US exports. To give you an idea, the US exports three times more to Latin America than it does to China.
Latin America is not a small market. According to Worldometers.info, the 33 countries that comprise the region have a population of 645 million, around 8.62% of the total world population. And the population is young, with a median age of 29.6 years. To put this into perspective, the median age in the US is 38.1, and Australia’s is 37.6 years.
Brazil, Mexico and Argentina account for two thirds of the region’s total GDP, according to Wikipedia. Colombia, Venezuela, Chile and Peru follow.
Latin America is one of the largest producers of commodities in the world. According to the Focus-Economics website, it produces 50% of the total world production of soybeans, 40% of copper and 15% of iron ore. It’s not surprising that the region’s fastest growth period was during the commodities boom.
Government debt to GDP for these countries is relatively low, mainly because lending is considered risky as they have negative credit ratings from the major credit agencies. That’s why BRICS countries are thinking about establishing their own credit rating agency, as they feel that their frequent downgrades give developed countries an unfair advantage.
Now Trump plans to construct a wall, impose a 35% border tax on American companies manufacturing in Mexico, and renegotiate NAFTA. If Trump goes ahead with his promises, Mexico will be one of the countries most affected.