Issues / Labor, Trade, & Finance

The militarization of Latin America, which begins at the U.S.-Mexico border, is undermining recent trends toward greater democratization and respect for human rights while doing little to stanch the flow of drugs into the United States.
After years of negotiations, stalling tactics, and domestic political debate, the U.S. Congress is considering ratification of bilateral trade agreements (BTAs) with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR or Laos) this summer.

G8 and Global Governance

The G8/G7, a self-constituted forum of the major free-market democracies, has situated itself at the center of global governance.
The international financial institutions (IFIs), particularly the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, but also including the regional development banks such as the Asian Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, have come under unprecedented criticism in the United States.
For most of the world’s impoverished countries, multilateral debt looms larger than other debts because of the status of IFIs as “preferred creditors” assigned them by the Group of 7 (G-7) industrialized countries.
Not since anticommunism was used to excuse the arming and training of repressive governments during the cold war has there been such a broad, fail-safe rationale to provide military aid and arms to disreputable foreign militaries.
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