Latin America and the Caribbean: U.S. Policy Overview [Updated June 30, 2021]   [open pdf - 467KB]

From the Document: "U.S. interests in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are diverse and include economic, political, security, and humanitarian concerns. Geographic proximity has ensured strong economic linkages between the United States and LAC, with the United States a major trading partner and source of foreign investment for many regional countries. Free-trade agreements (FTAs) have augmented U.S. economic relations with 11 countries in the region. LAC is also a large source of U.S. immigration, both authorized and unauthorized; economic and security conditions are major factors driving migration trends. Curbing the flow of illicit drugs from LAC has been a key component of U.S. relations with the region for decades. The flow of illicit drugs--including heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl from Mexico and cocaine from Colombia--poses risks to U.S. public health and safety. Since 2000, Colombia has received support through Plan Colombia and its successor programs. The United States also has sought to forge partnerships with other countries to combat drug trafficking and related violence and to advance citizen security, including through the Mérida Initiative, begun in 2007 to support Mexico; the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), begun in 2008; and the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), begun in 2009. Another long-standing component of U.S. policy has been support for strengthened democratic governance and the rule of law, including initiatives to support civil society and promote human rights. Although many countries in the region have made strides in democratic political development, several face considerable challenges."

Report Number:
CRS In Focus, IF10460
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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