Breaking the Continuity of the Latin American Vector of US Foreign Policy under Donald Trump and the Crisis of Pan-Americanism (2017-2020)

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-5-68-77
Peoples Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), 6, Miklukho-Maclay Str., Moscow, 6117198, Russian Federation; 
Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), 82, Prosp. Vernadskogo, Moscow, 119571, Russian Federation.

Received 21.01.2022. Revised 04.03.2022. Accepted 09.03.2022.

Acknowledgements. This paper has been supported by the RUDN University Strategic Academic Leadership Program.

Abstract. In this article the author examines the process of revising the Latin American vector of US foreign policy under the presidency of Donald Trump. In particular, the paper analyzes the economic and political aspects of a new US policy in the Latin American region. The main focus of the research is on the reorganization of US economic relations with the countries of the region and cancellation of various financial aid programs and multilateral agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement. The main hypothesis of the paper is that US foreign policy under the 45th president underwent a profound change towards diminishing the role of the Latin American region among other foreign policy priorities of the United States. Vivid confrontation with China and the Russian Federation became the center of the contemporary foreign policy course of Washington, making relations with Latin American countries of secondary importance. This shift created a certain power vacuum in the region and opened additional opportunities for extraregional players. China could arguably become one of such players as it is known to have utilized Washington’s weakening grip on the region to its own economic and political benefit, expanding the “One belt, one road” initiative.

Keywords: US, Donald Trump, Latin America, Pan-Americanism, continuity gap, populism


  1. Pechatnov V.O. Right-wing populism in the United States: tradition and modernity. Right-wing populism: a global trend and regional characteristics. Okuneva L.S., Tevdoi-Burmuli A.I., eds. Moscow, MGIMO-University, 2020, pp. 282-310. (In Russ.)
  2. Sokol’shchik L.M. Foreign policy aspects of right-wing populism: the case of the Trump presidency. Right-wing populism: a global trend and regional characteristics. Okuneva L.S., Tevdoi-Burmuli A.I., eds. oscow, MGIMO-University, 2020, pp. 311-336. (In Russ.)
  3. Kuznetsov A.V. Trump’s coming to power against the background of America’s loss of leadership in the processes of economic globalization. The Trump Phenomenon. Kuznetsov A.V., ed. Moscow, INION RAN, 2020, pp. 17-33. (In Russ.)
  4. Rogln J. House Panel Votes to defund OAS. Foreign Policy, 20.07.2011. Available at: (accessed 26.07.2021).
  5. Ellis R.E. Cooperation and mistrust between China and the U.S. in Latin America. The Political Economy of China-Latin America Relations in the New Millennium: Brave New World. Myers M., Wise C., eds. N.Y., Routledge, 2016, pp. 31-49. Available at: (accessed 26.07.2021).
  6. Ellis R.E. China’s strategy in Latin America and the Caribbean. China Steps Out: Beijing’s Major Power Engagement with the Developing World. Eisenman J., Heginbotham E., eds. N.Y., Routledge, 2018, pp. 193-220. Available at: (accessed 26.07.2021).
  7. Degterev D.A., Ramich M.S., Tsvyk A.V. U.S. – China: “Power Transition” and the Outlines of “Conflict Bipolarity”. Vestnik RUDN. International Relations, 2021, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 210-231. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 26.07.2021).
  8. Eremin A.A. Organization of American States and regional security. Moscow, Aspect Press, 2020. 176 p. (In Russ.)
  9. Eremin .., Petrovich-Belkin .. Historical retrospective on the implementation of the “War on Drugs” concept in the United States. Questions History, 2020, no. 12-1, pp. 276-287. (In Russ.)
  10. Gandel S. Donald Trump Says NAFTA Was the Worst Trade Deal the U. S. Ever Signed. Fortune, 27.09.2016. Available at: (accessed 27.07.2021).
  11. Manuhin A.A. Peculiarities of the policy of the Donald Trump administration in Latin America. Russia and America in the XXI century. Special issue, 30.05.2019. 14 p. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.18254/S207054760005322-1
  12. Baker P. Escalating Clash with Canada, Trump Is Isolated Before North Korea Meeting. The New York Times, 10.06.2018. Available at: (accessed 27.07.2021).
  13. Okuneva L. S. The 2018 Brazilian Presidential Election: Storm and Stress. Latin America, 2018, no. 12, pp. 22-36. (In Russ.) Available at:
  14. Okuneva L. S. Brazil radicalisation of the political process 2013–2019. Iberoamerican notebooks, 2019, vol. 7, iss. 3 (25), pp. 7-11. (In Russ.) Available at:
  15. Okuneva L.S. Right-wing populism in Brazil and its echoes in other Latin American countries. Right-wing populism: global trend and regional features. Okuneva L.S., Tevdoi-Burmuli A.I., eds. oscow, MGIMO-University, 2020, pp. 337-382. (In Russ.)
  16. Okuneva L.S. Brazil: autumn/winter 2020 political season. “500 days” of the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro. Latin America, 2020, iss. 10, pp. 21-38. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.31857/S0044748X0011329-0
  17. Campos O.C., Prevost G. The Trump Administration in Latin America: continuity and change. International Journal of Cuban Studies, 2019, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 13-23. Available at: (accessed 27.07.2021).
  18. Yakovlev P.P. D. Trump’s Policy in Latin America: Outcomes and Prospects. Perspektivy. Elektronnyi zhurnal, 2020, no. 3 (23), pp. 52-65. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.32726/2411-3417-2020-3-52-65
  19. Kheifets V.L. Foreign Policy of A.M. Lopez Obrador: declarations and reality. Bulletin of Moscow State University. Series 25: International relations and world politics, 2021, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 171-202. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 27.07.2021).
  20. Kudeyarova N.Yu. Politicizing the Border Problem: The United States and Mexico in the Regional Migration System. USA and Canada: economics, politics, culture, 2019, vol. 49, no. 11, pp. 55-70. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.31857/S032120680007286-8
  21. Eremin A.A. U.S. Migration Policy Radicalization (2017–2019): Case of Mexico and Central America. Vestnik RUDN. International Relations, 2021, no. 21 (1), pp. 108-118. DOI: 10.22363/2313-0660-2021-21-1-108-118
  22. Chagas-Bastos F.H., Franzoni M. The Dumb Giant: Brazilian Foreign Policy under Jair Bolsonaro. E-International Relations, 16.10.2019. Available at: (accessed 18.04.2021).
  23. Kodzoev M.A.-M. The problem of normalization of U.S. – Cuban relations in the U. S. Congress. USA and Canada: economics, politics, culture, 2019, no. 8, pp. 92-106. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.31857/S032120680005969-9
  24. Kodzoev M.A.-M. US-Cuba: echo of a Cold War. Moscow, Institute of Latin America of Russian Academy of Science, 2020. 274 p. (In Russ.)
  25. Rozental D. M. Anatomy of political crisis in Venezuela. Pathways to Peace and Security, 2019, no. 1 (56), pp. 22-33. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2019-1-22-33
  26. Iwanowski Z.W. Political Parties of Venezuela in the conditions of Polarization. Iberoamerica, 2018, no. 4, pp. 27-52. e-ISSN: 2076-8400
  27. Cárdenas J.R. Bolton is Building a Confrontational Latin America Strategy. Foreign Policy, 12.11.2018. Available at: (accessed 18.04.2021).
  28. Vershinina I. Migration Processes in Mexico and Central America: From Regional Specifics to Global Trends. Free thought, 2016, no. 6 (1660), pp. 109-124. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 18.04.2021).
  29. Kudeyarova N.I. México y Centroamérica en el foco de los conflictos migratorios. Iberoamerica, 2017, 1, pp. 52-73. Available at: (accessed 18.04.2021).
  30. Zannata L. America First: The Death of Pan-Americanism. Latin America and the new global order. Mori A., ed. Milan, ISPI, 2020. 147 p. DOI: 10.14672/55261883
  31. Sudarev V.P. The evolution of U.S. policy in Latin America under President D. Trump. USA and Canada: economics, politics, culture, 2020, vol. 50, no. 1, pp. 75-87. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.31857/S268667300008057-2
  32. Haman ., Školník . Trump and the Image of the United States in Latin America. Central European Journal of International and Security Studies, 2021, vol. 15 (1), pp. 58-85. DOI: 10.51870/CEJISS.A150103
  33. Lavut A.A. A new stage in the development of Sino-Latin American relation. Latin Amerika, 2018, iss. 12, pp. 59-73. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.31857/S0044748X0002316-6


  1. National Security Strategy of the United States of America. The White House. Washington, DC. December 2017. 68 p. Available at: (accessed 26.07.2021).
  2. Public Uncertain, Divided Over America’s Place in the World. Report. Pew research center. 05.05.2016. Available at: (accessed 26.07.2021).
  3. Organization of American States: Background and Issues for Congress. CRS Report. 14.03.2018. Available at: (accessed 26.07.2021).
  4. How the media bolstered Donald Trump’s businessman image. Interview with Suzanne Craig. CNN Editorial Research, 19.05.2019. Available at: (accessed 27.07.2021).
  5. Agreement between the United States of America, the United Mexican States, and Canada 7/1/20 Text. USMCA. Office of the United States Trade Representative. Available at: (accessed 27.07.2021).
  6. Trump Administration Cripples Latin America’s Ability to Fight COVID‑19. Commentary by Mark L. Schneiderof Senior Adviser of Americas Program and Human Rights Initiative. CSIS, 02.07.2020. Available at: (accessed 27.07.2021).
  7. COVID‑19 Pandemic Will Lead to the Biggest Contraction in Economic Activity in the Region’s History: A –5.3% Drop in 2020. Press releases. United Nations. ECLAC, 21.04.2020. Available at:‑19-pandemic-will-lead-biggest-contraction-economic-activity-regions-history-53 (accessed 27.07.2021).

Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Eremin A. Breaking the Continuity of the Latin American Vector of US Foreign Policy under Donald Trump and the Crisis of Pan-Americanism (2017-2020). World Eonomy and International Relations, 2022, vol. 66, no. 5, pp. 68-77.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies


Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 5
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • Are There Any Ways to Break Through the Korean Nuclear Impasse?
  • Contemporary U.S. Taiwan Policy: Balancing on the Edge
  • The Gulf Monarchies’ Vision of the Global Order Transformations and the Russian Place in It
  • At Post-Soviet Space
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.