Table of Contents

Latin America and the Caribbean have lively debates on globalization on account of the region’s endemic economic stagnation. Since at least the 1970s, many of Latin America’s largest economies have been unable to grow further and have been stuck in a middle-income trap.1 The ensuing concentration of income in the hands of the privileged few has generated deep resentment among the so-called losers of globalization.2 A 2019 study by the United Nations (UN) Development Program noted that in Latin America and the Caribbean, perceptions of unfairness in the distribution of wealth had “increased since 2012, returning to levels of the late 1990s.3

After decades of betting on models of insertion into the embedded liberal order, Latin America is experiencing a period of deglobalization, whose supporters consider such a turn necessary to strengthen economic sovereignty. In recent years, there have emerged nationalist candidates who have appealed to the losers of globalization and favored policies of deglobalizing their countries’ economies.4 The states with the three largest economies in the region—Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina—are currently governed by presidents openly hostile to economic globalization.

In Brazil, the government of President Jair Bolsonaro has been deeply critical of multilateralism, opposing not only economic but all globalization. Brazil has loudly voiced its concern about the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and the 2018 UN Global Compact for Migration, the second of which Brazil no longer supports.5 Brazil’s government has been ranked the worst in the world in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, in part because of its denialist stance toward both the virus and the efficacy of vaccines.6

In Mexico, the antineoliberalist discourse of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who had been extremely critical of the North American Free Trade Agreement, does not align with his support for its revamped form, the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement. However, this shift does not make López Obrador a champion of free trade.7 His push for a self-sufficient energy policy for Mexico has led him to break commitments with foreign investors, and, at times, he seems to care little about international market norms.8

In 2020, the government of Argentinian President Alberto Fernández decided to stop his country’s free-trade negotiations in Mercosur with Canada, India, Lebanon, Singapore, and South Korea.9 The same year, Argentina defaulted on its debt for the ninth time in the country’s history. Buenos Aires is still negotiating with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to repay the money it owes.

Even Chile, once considered a paradigm of the success of economic liberalism, has been experiencing deep social unrest since October 2019. These troubles led to the cancellation of the 2019 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings and a delay in the ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Francisco Urdinez
Francisco Urdinez is an associate professor at the Political Science Institute of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. He is also the editor of Revista de Ciencia Política. His research interest is the international political economy, with a focus on emerging powers, particularly Brazil and China.

And yet, despite this challenging backdrop, Latin American countries remain interested in contributing to international debates on globalization and reform of the multilateral system. The priority for the leaderships of Latin American countries is to amend the prevailing rules with the aim of creating the institutional foundations of a form of global governance that will produce more equitable outcomes.

Reforming International Trade

Given the stagnation of the multilateral agenda, regionalism has become a policy alternative in Latin America. The region’s governments are trying to ratify two interregional trade agreements, which, between them, cover a large share of global gross domestic product (GDP). The first is the free-trade agreement (FTA) between Mercosur and the European Union (EU), and the second is the CPTPP. Supporters see both projects as opportunities for developing countries that lack international leadership to have a voice in the creation of global norms.

For Latin American countries, the agreements are means of importing best practices from the EU and the developed countries that make up the CPTPP. For example, the Mercosur-EU accord, which has been concluded in principle but not signed, can function as a mechanism to improve environmental protection standards in Brazil. Indeed, the environmental agenda has increasingly become a central condition in advancing the agreement because of Bolsonaro’s backsliding policies. European politicians and nongovernmental organizations, worried about deforestation and fires in the Amazon, demand protection of the rain forest as a prerequisite for moving forward with the FTA.10

In parallel to these efforts at strengthened regionalism, Latin American countries have defended changes to international trade rules, in particular in relation to the regime of intellectual property rights, the principle of special and differential treatment, and reform of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) dispute settlement system.

Intellectual Property Rights

According to the 2021 Index of Economic Freedom published by the Heritage Foundation, a U.S. think tank, Latin America scores an average of 45 out of 100 points for respect for property rights, below the world median of 51.11 Discussion of the limits on state sovereignty imposed by intellectual property agreements is strong in Latin America. For example, in 2007, then Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed a decree to import a generic version of the Merck-owned HIV/AIDS drug efavirenz. Brazil cited the compulsory licensing provision in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to claim that this clause allowed the government to override pharmaceutical patents in cases of national emergency or public interest.12 This episode shows that enforcing TRIPS is tricky because of a constant tension between the claims of large multinational corporations that develop intellectual property and underdeveloped countries that want to use these patents for humanitarian purposes without paying to use the licenses.

The coronavirus pandemic has deepened the long-standing tension between national sovereignty and intellectual property, sparking a debate on when it is ethical to violate intellectual property rights. In March 2020, the Mexican government submitted a proposal to the UN on international cooperation to ensure equal global access to medicines, vaccines, and medical equipment to address the crisis.13 Mexico’s initiative led to the April 2020 adoption of a UN resolution that urged all member states to prevent speculation and practices that hide or limit access to products needed to contain the pandemic. The resolution also encouraged greater funding for vaccine and drug research.

Furthermore, in October 2020, Latin American countries supported an initiative led by India and South Africa that called for a waiver for all WTO members of the TRIPS agreement to allow for the “prevention, containment and treatment” of the coronavirus for the duration of the pandemic.14 However, as of October 2021, negotiations were deadlocked due to the strong opposition of pharmaceutical firms, backed by the United States and Switzerland. Indeed, in May 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden reversed the previous U.S. position in support of the proposal.

Special and Differential Treatment

Special and differential treatment (S&DT)—a WTO principle that exempts developing nations from certain obligations—has been a demand of Latin American countries since the creation of the multilateral trading system.15 With the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations and the 1995 launch of the WTO, the focus of S&DT shifted from a development policy to expectations that developing countries also have to grant concessions to reciprocate market opening.16

One of the strongest demands in Latin America for S&DT concerns subsidies for illegal fishing, as included in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The agenda stipulates that by 2030, UN members must “eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies.”17 This goal was championed by the Friends of Fish group, which includes Australia, Chile, New Zealand, and the United States. These countries argued that overfishing and fleet overcapacity were consequences of subsidy programs that led to the exploitation of fisheries.

Another group, which included Argentina, Brazil, China, and India plus the bulk of the other countries in the Global South, shared the call by the Friends of Fish to remove subsidies but demanded certain exemptions based on their status as developing nations. Yet, the December 2017 WTO ministerial conference in Buenos Aires echoed the urgency raised by the UN and called on the WTO’s 164 members to introduce the reforms within the deadline demanded by the UN.

Dispute Settlement

Between 2015 and 2020, Latin American countries accounted for a lower proportion of all cases heard by the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism (DSM) than in the previous twenty years, although the region still punched above its weight in world trade.18

A frequent objection among small Latin American countries is that they do not have the resources to sue powerful states through the DSM. As a result, the use of the mechanism is concentrated in a limited number of countries in the region, mainly those with the largest economies. Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina currently account for 61 percent of cases initiated by a Latin American country and 53 percent of cases in which a country in the region is a defendant.19 These states have also set up specialized WTO dispute settlement teams in their ministries of trade, industry, or foreign affairs. Yet, it remains a major challenge for Latin American countries, especially the smaller ones, to strengthen their capacity to enforce their rights through the DSM.

Global Governance of Data and Technology

Two competing models regulate the digital economy in Latin America. One is the stricter European model, while the other is the more flexible approach taken by the United States and promoted by APEC. Most Latin American countries have followed the European model, based on the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).20 The EU’s influence is explained in large part by the bloc’s trade agreements, which often impose on counterparts compliance with key elements of the European framework.

The GDPR has provided the necessary momentum for Latin American countries to update their existing laws on data protection. Argentina was the first country in the region to implement such laws and the first non-European nation to be recognized by the European Commission as having adequate levels of data security. A new data protection bill proposes further changes to bring Argentina’s legal framework into line with the GDPR. The bill acknowledges the right to be forgotten and the right to data portability.21

Brazil’s data protection law, which entered into force in August 2020, has similar definitions of personal data to the GDPR and, essentially, the same data subject rights. In Chile, Congress is discussing a bill inspired by the GDPR. Uruguay, which has traditionally followed the European framework, has updated its rules to include the role of data protection officer and accountability measures to ensure the EU continues to recognize these rules as compatible with GDPR standards.

Meanwhile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru have followed the more flexible approach promoted by APEC, based on the organization’s 2005 privacy framework, which is a voluntary certification scheme that allows companies to transfer personal data among APEC members.

High costs pose a barrier for Latin American developing countries to increase their representation in the global governance of technology and data. There is no regional coordination of data governance in Latin America, and each country defines its regulations with reference to either the EU or the U.S. model. There are, however, various regional organizations in Latin America that establish competition provisions for cross-border cooperation.22 Yet, the overlapping nature of these organizations and a lack of enforcement have hampered progress toward a more effective and integrated regional digital economy.

The Global Financial System

The overriding view in Latin America is that the only way to reform the Bretton Woods institutions is for European countries and the United States to recognize that their quotas in these institutions should be reduced to give greater participation to China, India, and other emerging powers. Historically, Latin America has been an important pillar of the Bretton Woods system. The innovative embedded liberal vision of Bretton Woods was first put forward in the context of U.S.–Latin American financial relations between 1938 and 1942, which influenced subsequent international negotiations.23 At the time, U.S. policymakers sought to build a multilateral economic order that could accommodate the developmentalist goals of Latin American governments.

However, in recent decades, Latin America has been a rule taker rather than a rule maker in the international system. Leftist governments have seen the World Bank and, above all, the IMF as enemies of development in Latin America. The external debt crisis that several countries in the region have entered since the 1980s has led these states to seek alternatives to the Bretton Woods rules. In the last ten years, World Bank and IMF loans have been gradually replaced by credit from financial institutions promoted by China.24

Multilateral Development Banks

In Latin America, the balance of forces between competition and collaboration among multilateral development banks (MDBs) and other sources of development finance has produced a decentralized and client-oriented system. Within Latin America, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the Corporación Andina de Fomento development bank have assumed many of the responsibilities originally attributed to the World Bank.25 More recently, Chinese policy banks have joined them in financing infrastructure through public-private partnerships and state-to-state loans.26

Latin American and Caribbean countries have been able to diversify their access to financial sources to the point that more MDBs operate in the region than in any other part of the globe. Most of the development banks in Latin America have been operating there since before 1980.27 In the meantime, MDBs have specialized. For instance, Chinese credit tends to focus on infrastructure, power, energy, and water, while the World Bank and the IADB concentrate on social services and support the public sector and civil society. Between 2005 and 2020, Chinese policy banks financed projects in Latin America worth a total of $136 billion.28 In the same period, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation provided $9.7 billion of funding and the World Bank gave $31.2 billion.29

To strengthen the division of labor among MDBs, which has so far been positive in Latin America, there needs to be greater coordination between the Bretton Woods institutions and the new Chinese banks, especially the Chinese-led MDBs, such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank. This is important because Latin America needs better infrastructure to integrate into global value chains. The region has the world’s largest infrastructure gap after that of sub-Saharan Africa.30

Special Drawing Rights

An important feature of the proposed reform of the international financial system relates to reliance on special drawing rights (SDRs), an international reserve asset that supplements IMF members’ official reserves.31 The redistribution of SDRs has also been proposed in the context of the coronavirus pandemic to help with fiscal imbalances in emerging markets and less developed countries.

Until the 1980s, the reserves of developing countries were equivalent to about 3 percent of their GDP, a similar level to that of industrialized nations. By 2007, low- and middle-income countries—excluding China—had foreign exchange reserves equal to 20.6 percent and 16.2 percent of their GDP, respectively. By that point, China had amassed reserves equivalent to 46.7 percent of its GDP. This accumulation of foreign reserves, Colombian economist José Antonio Ocampo has argued, was a result of overly conditional financing from the IMF.32 Better collective insurance in the form of ample and less conditional IMF financing could help by discouraging developing countries from holding such significant reserves.

From a Latin American perspective, SDR allocations could follow one of two approaches. The first—and best—would be to issue SDRs in a countercyclical way, meaning that they would be issued during crises rather than booms. Concentrating issuance during crises would help circumvent the deflationary pressures that the world economy faces in these periods because of demands on deficit countries to adjust. The second approach would consist of regular allocations of SDRs, reflecting additional global demand for reserves. In the long run, the IMF should allow the use of SDRs in private transactions to turn the reserves into a true global monetary instrument.

Reforming International Taxation

The 2013 action plan on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Group of Twenty (G20) is the most important revolution in international tax law in the last century. The plan set out fifteen actions to tackle BEPS—the practice of exploiting gaps and mismatches in tax rules to avoid paying tax—four of which are considered minimum standards.33 The implementation of these standards is of particular importance, and each is the subject of a peer-review process that evaluates a country’s progress and provides clear recommendations for improvement.

Ten Latin American countries—Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay—have signed up to the BEPS action plan. Several Caribbean countries, many of which are tax havens, have also joined. However, there is no coordination among countries to support each other in the implementation of the actions, and all progress has been unilateral. In Latin America, the BEPS action plan fills a gap in the absence of a regional tax-regulating body.

The four actions that constitute minimum standards are 5, 6, 13, and 14. Action 5 is a continuation of the OECD Forum on Harmful Tax Practices, which since 1998 has been reviewing preferential regimes to determine whether they could harm the tax bases of other jurisdictions.34 Action 6 aims to eliminate treaty shopping, which typically involves an attempt by a person to indirectly access the benefits of a tax agreement between two jurisdictions without being a resident of either. There are many arrangements through which a person who is not a resident of a jurisdiction may attempt to obtain benefits granted to residents.35

Action 13 seeks to improve access to public taxation data. The lack of quality data on corporate taxation has been a major limitation to measuring the fiscal and economic effects of tax avoidance. This makes it difficult for authorities to carry out transfer pricing assessments on transactions between linked companies and even more difficult to conduct audits. Finally, action 14 aims to enhance the resolution of tax-related disputes between jurisdictions. This process comprises two stages: in stage one, states’ implementation of the action is assessed and recommendations are made for improvement; how those recommendations are executed is measured in stage two.

The ten Latin American countries that have subscribed to the BEPS action plan have committed to having their compliance with the minimum standards reviewed and monitored by their peers through a robust process that seeks to increase efficiencies and speed up the resolution of double-taxation disputes.36 In all ten participating states, actions 5 and 6 are complete. Action 13 has a legal framework in place in all countries except Paraguay. As for action 14, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico have completed stage one but not yet started stage two. Western European countries and the United States are already at stage two, so this is the action on which Latin America is farthest behind.

In addition to the four minimum standards, action 15 is of particular importance. This consists of a multilateral convention that allows governments to modify existing bilateral tax treaties in a synchronized and efficient manner to implement measures developed as part of the BEPS project without the need to renegotiate each treaty bilaterally. In Costa Rica and Uruguay, this convention is already in force. Chile and Panama have accepted and ratified the accord but not yet implemented it. As of this writing, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru have yet to ratify the convention, while Brazil and Paraguay have yet to sign it.

A Global Minimum Corporate Tax Rate

A global minimum corporate tax rate is an excellent initiative to curb the race to the bottom among developing countries, whereby competition to attract investment creates incentives to cut business regulations, labor standards, environmental protections, and business taxes.37 A proposal for such a tax rate was signed at the October 2021 G20 summit in Rome.38 The largest Latin American economies—Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico—view the measure favorably as they see it as an equalizer of rules. Experts in these countries, however, recognize that such a measure would take years to implement without an enforcement mechanism.

At the same time, smaller nations—in particular, Costa Rica, Panama, and Uruguay—have for years attracted investment by offering better tax benefits than their protectionist neighbors. In these countries, there are concerns that a minimum corporate tax rate would make them less attractive to investors. Each of these three states is to Latin America what Ireland is to the EU: a country that has attracted investment from its neighbors through special regimes for multinational enterprises.

Finally, there is the case of tax havens in the Caribbean. The Bahamas, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands have no corporate tax rate at all, making them havens for incorporation. The economic well-being of these countries depends in large part on providing financial services to large corporations. These states would be among the biggest losers from a global minimum corporate tax rate.

Despite differing views of this tax among large and small countries in Latin America, it may be an opportunity to attract large enterprises that have moved away to Asian countries in the past decade. For example, in 2014, Intel closed a huge chip factory in Costa Rica that accounted for 0.5 percent of the country’s GDP and moved it to Malaysia and Vietnam, which offered better tax incentives.39 The plant reopened in 2020 after the company renegotiated more favorable tax benefits with Costa Rica.

The Climate Change Agenda

Latin America and the Caribbean have some of the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems to climate change. Forest fires in the Amazon and coral bleaching in the Caribbean threaten the viability of habitats that are vital to the global climate balance. In Central America, increasingly frequent hurricanes cause great human and material losses.

Latin America and the Caribbean lose an average of $11 billion a year to climate-related natural disasters.40 In addition, nine of the world’s twenty countries with the greatest declines in GDP due to climate change are from the region.41 There are two reasons for this stark picture. First, 79 percent of the region’s population lives in cities—compared with 51 percent in Asia and 43 percent in Africa—and the main risks of climate change impacts are concentrated in cities.42 Second, Latin America suffers from a multibillion-dollar infrastructure gap that prevents countries from being able to adapt to climate change.43 In 2019, Latin America’s climate finance was $4.4 billion, far short of the region’s annual infrastructure gap of $260 billion or its climate change adaptation gap of $110 billion.44

Latin American countries have been very clear that, in historical terms, the region’s contribution to climate change is relatively small. In the words of one analyst, Latin American states “have repeatedly highlighted the responsibility of developed countries as the reason why [the latter] should take the lead on climate change mitigation and transfer money and technology to developing countries to facilitate their adaptation and mitigation.”45

According to 2020 data, Latin America and the Caribbean contributed 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions—a percentage similar to the region’s shares of world population and GDP. Yet, the structure of the region’s emissions is different from that of global emissions. Whereas 70 percent of the world’s emissions come from the energy sector, Latin America’s energy share is 45 percent, while agriculture and livestock account for 23 percent, indicating significant scope to mitigate deforestation by increasing arable land use.46

Latin American and Caribbean countries have collectively expressed the need to achieve climate justice, meaning that developed nations should pay their environmental debt to developing countries affected by climate change and help them lessen its impacts. In response, developed nations have emphasized the need to share the burden of international efforts. The industrialized world has tended to put more weight on the common aspect of the problem and the associated principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, insisting that effective action on climate change requires a concerted effort and sacrifices from all parties.47

During many negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, a clear North-South delineation has emerged. This division became apparent in the text of the 2008 Kyoto Protocol Reference Manual on Accounting of Emissions and Assigned Amounts, as states argued about assigning historical responsibility, resulting in the categorization of developed versus developing countries.48 The depth and longevity of North-South divisions in international climate negotiations have, to a large extent, shaped the positions of Latin American countries about who is responsible for climate change, who should lead efforts to solve it, and how the burden of contributions should be split, given global disparities in economic development and technical and material capabilities.

The progress of each country toward implementing its environmental commitments, such as the nationally determined contributions under the 2015 Paris Agreement, depend too much on the political will of the government of the day. Probably the clearest example of this is Brazil: once a global leader on this agenda, the country now has a president who denies climate change.49 Indeed, Bolsonaro has dismissed protection of the Amazon to the point that EU countries have tried to make ratification of the Mercosur-EU FTA conditional on Brazil improving its policy toward the rain forest.

There is concern in Latin America that some negative externalities produced by developed countries in their efforts to achieve the Paris Agreement goals will fall on the region. Amid the environmental transition, there are real worries that the impacts associated with the extraction of raw materials in the Global South, such as lithium, cobalt, copper, coltan, and green hydrogen, may reduce the carbon footprints of richer countries at the expense of the environments of underdeveloped states.

As regards compliance with the Paris Agreement, Latin America and the Caribbean still lag far behind in implementing mitigation policies. According to the Climate Action Tracker, which evaluates government strategies and policies to meet the accord’s objectives, Costa Rica is the only Latin American country that has made “almost sufficient” commitments and efforts to hold global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.50 All other Latin American countries in the index have performances that are either “insufficient” or “highly insufficient.”51

Where Latin America and the Caribbean have made the greatest advances on the environmental agenda is in investment in renewable energy. To date, Latin America has pledged to derive 70 percent of its energy production from renewables.52 That surpasses the EU’s ambition and would give Latin America and the Caribbean the cleanest energy matrix worldwide.53 Between 2006 and 2016, solar, wind, and wave power in the region recorded a spectacular average growth rate of 34 percent, higher than for any other power source.54


In recent decades, Latin America has been a taker rather than a maker of global rules, and this trend is likely to deepen in the coming years. The region’s situation is clear when it comes to the global governance of data and technology and the international tax regime. There is no regional coordination of data governance in Latin America, and each country defines its regulations according to either the European or the U.S. model. Meanwhile, the OECD/G20 action plan on BEPS fills a gap in the absence of a regional tax-regulatory body. It is widely expected that the region’s role in future multilateral discussions on global standards and regulations will be limited to passive adoption rather than active leadership.

In general, Latin American countries seek a reengineered form of globalization in which the nation-state plays a more dominant role in regulating negative market externalities. This is reflected in the region’s stances toward trade integration, the global financial system, and the climate change agenda. In terms of trade, Latin American countries will continue to support advances in international trade rules as long as they protect the interests of less developed countries, particularly in relation to intellectual property rights, the principle of S&DT, and reform of the DSM. As for the global financial system, Latin American countries agree with the use of SDRs to support countercyclical policies and the implementation of a global minimum corporate tax rate to mitigate a race to the bottom and sudden capital flights.

Finally, there is a growing debate about how and whether the private sector should be further regulated to limit global warming and environmental degradation. Since Latin American and Caribbean countries are mostly commodity producers, they will need to levy efficient green taxes to mitigate the climate effects of predatory mining, fishing, and agriculture to compensate future generations and guarantee sustainable development.

Francisco Urdinez is an associate professor at the Political Science Institute of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. He is also the editor of Revista de Ciencia Política. His research interest is the international political economy, with a focus on emerging powers, particularly Brazil and China.


1 Matthew M. Taylor, “The Politics of Latin America’s Middle Income Trap,” Council on Foreign Relations, May 16, 2017,

2 Daniela Campello and Cesar Zucco, The Volatility Curse: Exogenous Shocks and Representation in Resource-Rich Democracies (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2020).

3 “Human Development Report 2019,” United Nations Development Program, 2019,

4 Dani Rodrik, “Populism and the Economics of Globalization,” Journal of International Business Policy 1, no. 1 (2018): 12–33.

5 Oliver Stuenkel, “Protecting Multilateralism Against Anti-Globalists: The Case of Brazil,” PeaceLab, November 5, 2020,

6 Jinshang Hong, Rachel Chang, and Kevin Varley, “Best and Worst Places to Be in Covid: Vaccine Not Slowing Deaths,” Bloomberg, November 24, 2020,

7 Umut Aydin, “Emerging Middle Powers and the Liberal International Order,” International Affairs 97, no. 5 (2021): 1377–94,

8 Shannon K. O’Neil, “Lopez Obrador Can Save Mexico by Embracing Globalization,” Bloomberg, May 28, 2020,

9 Federico Rivas Molina, “La retirada parcial de Argentina congela Mercosur,” El País, April 25, 2020,

10 Oliver Stuenkel, “A Problem for German Trade Ambitions: Brazil’s Environment Minister,” Americas Quarterly, July 30, 2020,

11 “2021 Index of Economic Freedom,” Heritage Foundation, 2021,

12 Vera Zolotaryova, “Are We There Yet? Taking ‘TRIPS’ to Brazil and Expanding Access to HIV/AIDS Medication,” Brooklyn Journal of International Law 33, no. 3 (2008): 1099–126,

13 “México impulsa en Naciones Unidas propuesta para garantizar el acceso a medicamentos, vacunas y equipo médico para hacer frente al Covid-19,” Government of Mexico, April 17, 2020,

14 “Waiver From Certain Provisions of the TRIPS Agreement for the Prevention, Containment and Treatment of Covid-19,” World Trade Organization, May 25, 2021,

15 Special provisions include longer time periods for implementing agreements, measures to increase trading opportunities for developing countries, provisions to safeguard the trade interests of developing countries, and capacity-building support. See “Special and Differential Treatment Provisions,” World Trade Organization,

16 Kiichiro Fukasaku, “Special and Differential Treatment for Developing Countries: Does It Help Those Who Help Themselves,” United Nations University, September 2000,

17 “Resolution Adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015,” United Nations, October 21, 2015,

18 Sebastián Herreros, “La participación de América Latina y el Caribe en el mecanismo de solución de diferencias de la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC), 2015-2020,” United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, 2020,

19 Author’s calculations based on “Disputes by Member,” World Trade Organization,

20 Héctor J. Lehuedé, “Corporate Governance and Data Protection in Latin America and the Caribbean,” United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, 2019,

21 Paulina Bojalil, Michael Egan, and Carlos Vela-Treviño, “Data Privacy Reform Gains Momentum in Latin America,” Inter-American Development Bank, February 12, 2019,

22 “Competition Policy in the Digital Age: Latin America and the Caribbean,” GSMA, 2020,

23 Eric Helleiner, “Reinterpreting Bretton Woods: International Development and the Neglected Origins of Embedded Liberalism,” Development and Change 37, no. 5 (2006): 943–67,

24 Margaret Myers and Rebecca Ray, “Shifting Gears: Chinese Finance in LAC, 2020,” Inter-American Dialogue, February 2021,

25 Fernando Prada, “World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and Subregional Development Banks in Latin America: Dynamics of a System of Multilateral Development Banks,” Asian Development Bank Institute, September 2012,

26 Stephen B. Kaplan, Globalizing Patient Capital: The Political Economy of Chinese Finance in the Americas (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2021).

27 Enrique García, “Regional Multilateral Banks in a New Global Context,” Horizons 7 (2016): 144–53,

28 Kevin P. Gallagher and Margaret Myers, “China-Latin America Finance Database,” Inter-American Dialogue, 2021,

29 Author’s calculations based on “All Active Projects,” U.S. International Development Finance Corporation,, and “Projects,” World Bank,

30 Eduardo Cavallo and Andrew Powell, “Building Opportunities for Growth in a Challenging World,” Inter-American Development Bank, 2019,

31 “Special Drawing Rights,” International Monetary Fund, August 5, 2021,

32 José Antonio Ocampo, “Why Should the Global Reserve System Be Reformed?,” Finance & Bien Commun 2–3, no. 34–35 (2009): 79–89,

33 “What Is BEPS?,” Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,

34 “Harmful Tax Practices—2019 Peer Review Reports on the Exchange of Information on Tax Rulings,” OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project, December 15, 2020,

35 “Signatories and Parties to the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting,” Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, September 30, 2021,

36 “OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS: Progress Report July 2019–July 2020,” Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2020,

37 William W. Olney, “A Race to the Bottom? Employment Protection and Foreign Direct Investment,” Journal of International Economics 91, no. 2 (2013): 191–203,

38 “Statement on a Two-Pillar Solution to Address the Tax Challenges Arising From the Digitalisation of the Economy,” OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project, October 8, 2021,

39 Ricardo Monge-González, “Moving up the Global Value Chain: The Case of Intel Costa Rica,” International Labor Organization, 2017,

40 David Eckstein, Vera Künzel, and Laura Schäfer, “Global Climate Risk Index 2021: Who Suffers Most From Extreme Weather Events? Weather-Related Loss Events in 2019 and 2000–2019,” Germanwatch, January 2021,

41 “A Green and Resilient Recovery for Latin America,” Global Center on Adaptation, January 14, 2021,

42 “Degree of Urbanization (Percentage of Urban Population in Total Population) by Continent in 2020,” Statista, July 2020,

43 Paula Chamas, “Adaptarse al cambio climático: una inversión necesaria para nuestras ciudades,” Inter-American Development Bank, April 13, 2021,

44 Fei Yuan and Kevin P. Gallagher, “Greening Development Lending in the Americas: Trends and Determinants,” Ecological Economics 154 (2018): 189–200,

45 Philip Coventry, “Protecting the Right to Food When Implementing Climate Change Mitigation Strategies in Developing Countries,” in Human Rights and the Environment: Legality, Indivisibility, Dignity and Geography, eds James R. May and Erin Daly (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019), 224–34.

46 Alicia Bárcena, Joseluis Samaniego, Wilson Peres, and José Eduardo Alatorre, The Climate Emergency in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Path Ahead—Resignation or Action? (Santiago: United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, 2020).

47 Chukwumerije Okereke and Philip Coventry, “Climate Justice and the International Regime: Before, During, and After Paris,” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 7, no. 6 (2016): 834–51,

48 “Kyoto Protocol Reference Manual: On Accounting of Emissions and Assigned Amount,” United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2008,

49 Guy Edwards and J. Timmons Roberts, A Fragmented Continent: Latin America and the Global Politics of Climate Change (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2015).

50 “Sustainable Development Report 2020: The Sustainable Development Goals and Covid-19,” Cambridge University Press, June 30, 2020,

51 Climate Action Tracker, 2020,

52 Valerie Volcovici, “Latin America Pledges 70% Renewable Energy, Surpassing EU: Colombia Minister,” Reuters, September 25, 2019,

53 Lenin Balza, Ramón Espinasa, and Tomás Serebrisky, “Lights On? Energy Needs in Latin America and the Caribbean to 2040,” Inter-American Development Bank, January 2016,

54 Ibid.