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January 18, 2024

Globalization, Trade, and Regionalism in Latin America and the Caribbean

Event Series: Latin America in the Global Economy

Showing the Globalization, Trade and Regionalism in Latin America and the Caribbean Video

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the global economy has weathered a series of shocks, including U.S.-China trade disputes and the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, that are reshaping the dynamics of globalization. These changes have prompted governments to recalibrate international and domestic economic strategies, leading to a rise of protectionism and new industrial policies. In addition, the global trade architecture is evolving towards a more fragmented policy framework for trade and investment. How should Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) respond to the new world trade order? Is regional economic integration still viable and advantageous? What opportunities and challenges arise from strengthening economic linkages with the United States, Europe, or key players in the Asia-Pacific? How can LAC capitalize on the reconfiguration of global value chains?

The Georgetown Americas Institute (GAI) held to a discussion featuring resident fellow Antoni Estevadeordal, who will delve into the opportunities and challenges presented to LAC in this emerging trade environment. Following his insights, Barbara Kotschwar, adjunct professor at the Landegger Program in International Business Diplomacy at Georgetown University, and Antonio Ortiz-Mena, partner at Dentons Global Advisors, will provide commentary. The event was moderated by Alejandro Werner, GAI founding director.


Antoni Estevadeordal is resident fellow of the Georgetown Americas Institute and leads the Latin America in the Global Economy program. He has held senior executive positions at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in a career of more than 25 years in Washington, DC. Most recently he was IDB representative in Europe, based in Brussels, where he led IDB’s relationship and resource mobilization with all European stakeholders and European institutions. Previously, he headed the IDB Migration Initiative, responsible for implementing innovative blended-finance projects to respond to the migration crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean. For more than a decade he was manager of the IDB Integration and Trade Sector, supervising a lending operational portfolio and technical assistance in more than 20 countries. He also coordinated IDB’s trade policy and integration research agenda, as well as several public-private strategic initiatives and inter-institutional partnerships. He has expertise in international development and development finance, regional integration and international cooperation, trade policy and investment regimes, migration policy, and regional and global public goods. Estevadeordal has published widely in major journals and authored several books. He has been a nonresident senior fellow at Brookings Institution and member of the WEF Global Council on the Future of Logistics. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in economics from Harvard University and a B.A. in economics from the University of Barcelona.

Barbara Kotschwar teaches courses on trade and integration in the Americas, and China-Latin America relations here at Georgetown; she is also a Board member of Georgetown’s Center on Inclusive Trade and Development (CITD). An expert on international trade, Dr. Kotschwar’s career includes high-level positions in Fortune 500 corporations, international organizations and leading think tanks. She recently served as Executive Director of the Visa Economic Empowerment Institute where, among other issues, she researched trends in digital trade. She has advised governments and organizations across the globe on trade and integration issues, including as part of the World Bank’s investment policy team, as head of the OAS’s Foreign Trade Information Section and in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank, the OAS, the United Nations, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization. Her work has been cited in, among others, the Economist, the Financial Times, the New York Times, El Diario de Cuba, El Financiero, and on CNN, C-SPAN and NPR as well as in the US Supreme Court. A citizen of Canada and the US, she received her PhD from Johns Hopkins SAIS and studied economics and political science at McGill University in Montreal.

Antonio Ortiz-Mena, PhD, is a partner at Dentons Global Advisors in their Washington, DC office. He specializes in advising corporates, sovereigns and foundations on economics and geopolitics, international trade, and foreign investment issues. For the past several years, Dr. Ortiz-Mena was a senior vice president at Albright Stonebridge Group, a foundational partner of Dentons Global Advisors, where he assisted clients across the Americas in his areas of expertise. From 2007 to 2015, Dr. Ortiz-Mena served as the head of economic affairs at the Embassy of Mexico in the United States. He began his career in the Mexican government and was a member of the NAFTA Negotiation Office of the Ministry of Trade and Industrial Development (SECOFI). He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science, with a specialty in international political economy from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied as a Fulbright Scholar. He has published more than 30 articles on global trade and foreign investment, energy, and international relations for Cambridge University Press, Stanford University Press, Brookings Institution Press, and Peterson Institute for International Economics, among others. He us currently co-teaching Trade: Americas (LASP 5703) with Professor Barbara Kotschwar at Georgetown. Dr. Ortiz-Mena is a member of The Trilateral Commission and has participated in more than 300 interviews for industry-leading organizations including Financial Times, The Economist, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNN, CNBC, and NPR.

Alejandro Werner is the founding director of the Georgetown Americas Institute and a non-resident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute. He recently completed almost nine years as director of the Western Hemisphere Department at the International Monetary Fund. Prior to that appointment, he was undersecretary of finance and public credit in Mexico’s Finance Ministry and held several positions in that ministry and the Central Bank. He also taught at leading universities in Mexico, Spain, and the United States. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.A. in economics from Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM).