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Unprecedented Global Protectionist Threats and Increasing Financial Volatility: Latin America at a Crossroads

Since the early 2000s, Latin America has become increasingly integrated with the global economy, liberalizing trade and opening its capital account. These initiatives were prompted by the assumption that advanced economies would not impose barriers to the cross-border movement of goods and services. But today, a rising wave of protectionism not seen since the Great Depression challenges this assumption.

With this new reality as the backdrop, the Latin American Committee on Macroeconomic and Financial Issues (CLAAF) will be meeting in Washington, DC to discuss how to tackle these emerging global economic challenges. Members of this committee include former finance ministers, former central bank governors, and other high-level economic officials and academics from across Latin America.

On Tuesday, April 10th the Committee will host a forum to debate and discuss these important questions: 

  • If protectionist threats materialize, should Latin America follow suit, or reassert its determination to move towards global integration?

  • Entering a period of greater financial volatility associated with a dangerous combination of protectionism and higher international interest rates, should Latin America reassess its relatively orthodox macroeconomic stance and favor more heterodox policies (e.g., controls on capital flows)?

  • What is the role of regional institutions and the IMF in supporting Latin America’s financial stability in a changing world?



Laura Alfaro, Warren Albert Professor, Harvard Business School and Former Minister of National Planning and Economic Policy, Costa Rica

Guillermo A. Calvo, Professor of Economics, International and Public Affairs, Columbia University and Former Chief Economist, Inter-American Development Bank 

Alberto Carrasquilla, Senior Partner, Konfigura Capital and Former Minister of Finance and Public Credit, Colombia

Augusto de la Torre, Former Chief Economist for Latin American and the Caribbean, World Bank and Former Governor, Central Bank of Ecuador

Roque Benjamín Fernández, Director, Fund for the Promotion of Research, CEMA University and Former Minister of Finance, Argentina

Pablo Guidotti, Professor of Economics, School of Government, University Torcuato Di Tella and Former Vice Minister of Finance, Argentina

Liliana Rojas-Suarez (Committee Chair),Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development and Former Chief Economist for Latin America, Deutsche Bank

Ernesto Talvi, Director, Global-CERES Economic and Social Policy, Latin America Initiative, Brookings Institution and Academic Director, CERES, Uruguay

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