Since 1980, China has evolved from a poor and mostly rural society into one of the largest economies in the world. As it grew into a major industrial power, it demanded enormous amounts of steel for new factories and cities, copper for electronic wires, petroleum for cars and manufacturing plants, and soybeans and cattle to feed its workers. By the 1990s, many Latin American countries were riding China's coattails and beginning to prosper from the new demand. Ever since China entered the World Trade Organization at the turn of the century, Latin America supplied China with more and more of the primary commodities it needs and more. That in turn has produced one the most impressive periods of economic growth on the continent in fifty years. And it was more evenly spread too - a region infamous for its extreme inequality saw it decline by a couple of percentage points over the course of the era.In The China Triangle, Kevin P. Gallagher traces the development of the China-Latin America trade over time and covers how it has affected the centuries-old (and highly unequal) US-Latin American relationship. He argues that despite these opportunities Latin American nations have little to show for riding the coattails of the 'China Boom' and now face significant challenges in the next decades as China's economy slows down and shifts more toward consumption and services. While the Latin American region saw significant economic growth due to China's rise over the past decades, Latin Americans saved very little of the windfall profits it earned even as the region saw a significant hollowing of its industrial base. What is more, commodity-led growth during the China boom reignited social and environmental conflicts across the region.Scholars and reporters have covered the Chinese expansion into East Asia, Southeast Asia, Australasia, Africa, the US, and Europe. Yet China's penetration Latin America is as little understood as it is significant-especially for America given its longstanding ties to the region. Gallagher provides a clear overview of China's growing economic ties with Latin America and points to ways that Latin American nations, China, and even the United States can act in order to make the next decades of China-Latin America economic activity more prosperous for all involved.
Dr. Kevin P. Gallagher is a Professor of Global Development Policy at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, where he co-directs the Global Economic Governance Initiative and the Global Development Policy Program. Kevin P. Gallagher is the author or co-author of six books: • The China Triangle: Latin America’s China Boom and the Fate of the Washington Consensus • Ruling Capital: Emerging Markets and the Reregulation of Cross-Border Finance • The Clash of Globalizations: Essays on Trade and Development Policy • The Dragon in the Room: China and the Future of Latin American Industrialization (with Roberto Porzecanski) • The Enclave Economy: Foreign Investment and Sustainable Development in Mexico’s Silicon Valley (with Lyuba Zarsky) • Free Trade and the Environment: Mexico, NAFTA, and Beyond Gallagher has edited or co-edited a number of books, including Rethinking Foreign Investment for Sustainable Development: Lessons from Latin America (with Daniel Chudnovsky) and Putting Development First: the Importance of Policy Space in the WTO and IFIs. He is the co-chair of the Task Force on Regulating Capital Flows and has served as an advisor to the Department of State and the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States, as well as to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Gallagher has been a visiting or adjunct professor at the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico; Tsinghua University in China, and the Center for State and Society in Argentina. Gallagher is co-editor of the Review of International Political Economy and writes regular columns in the Financial Times and the Guardian.