152 episodes

The CSIS Americas Program podcast looks at the politics and policies of the 35 countries in the Western Hemisphere. It especially focuses on U.S. engagement with the region, whether on trade, diplomacy, or security issues like drugs and terrorism. Guests include top policymakers from the U.S. and other countries.

35 West CSIS

    • Government
    • 4.5 • 14 Ratings

The CSIS Americas Program podcast looks at the politics and policies of the 35 countries in the Western Hemisphere. It especially focuses on U.S. engagement with the region, whether on trade, diplomacy, or security issues like drugs and terrorism. Guests include top policymakers from the U.S. and other countries.

    Unpacking USMCA

    Unpacking USMCA

    In 2023, U.S. trade with Mexico grew to nearly $800 billion, leading Mexico to surpass both Canada and China as the United States’ number one trading partner. While U.S.-Mexico trade has long been a pillar of North American economic competitiveness, Washington’s efforts to move trade away from China in favor of nearshoring and friendshoring in the Western Hemisphere, coupled with the advantages of a modernized trade agreement in the form of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has underpinned this increase in bilateral trade and investment. At the same time, Chinese investment in Mexico has skyrocketed, with estimates finding that in 2022 Chinese foreign direct investment in Mexico was more than double that of 2018. 
    In this episode, Christopher Hernandez-Roy sits down with Kenneth Smith Ramos, Chief Trade Negotiator for Mexico from 2017 to 2018 and one of the architects of USMCA. Together, they discuss the evolution of USMCA since its entry into force in 2020, with a focus on the recent surge of Chinese invesment in Mexico, understanding the nature of this investment, as well as the potential challenges it may present. They also discuss the upcoming 2026 Joint Review of the agreement, and what can be done by all three countries to lay the groundwork for a more constructive session.

    • 36 min
    El rumbo democrático: What's at Stake in Panama's Elections?

    El rumbo democrático: What's at Stake in Panama's Elections?

    On Sunday, May 5, Panamanians will cast their votes to determine the next president, as well as all members of the National Assembly. With a crowded field of candidates vying for the presidency, and only a single round to determine the victor, it promises to be a divided field. The elections are also taking place within a deeply polarized context, as Panama has been rocked by mass protests against the Cobre Panama Mining project, the country grapples with both a worsening water crisis, and the endemic challenge of corruption continues to loom large.
    In this special episode, Ryan C. Berg sits down with Annette Planells, a civil society leader and anticorruption activist, and Executive President of the newspaper La Prensa. Together, they discuss the election's implications for Panama's ongoing fight against corruption, especially in light of the disqualification of ex-president and former frontrunner Ricardo Martinelli following his conviction on bribery charges. They also reflect on how the various candidates will navigate some of the most salient questions in Panamanian politics today, including water insecurity, infrastructure, as well as Panama's relations with both China and the United States. 

    • 25 min
    From Peril to Partnership with Paul Angelo

    From Peril to Partnership with Paul Angelo

    Looking across the hemisphere today, crime and insecurity appears on the march, with transnational criminal groups ascendant from Mexico to the Caribbean and southern cone. In light of this, it is important to reflect upon the history of U.S.-LAC security cooperation, where we have seen two major, multi-year security initiatives launched and concluded in the past 25 years, Plan Colombia, and the Mérida Initiative. 
     In this episode, Ryan C. Berg sits down with Dr. Paul Angelo, Director of the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at National Defense University. Together, they discuss his new book From Peril to Partnership: US Security Assistance and the Bid to Stabilize Colombia and Mexico. They trace the divergent origins and outcomes of both Plan Colombia and the Mérida Initiative, as well as the current security challenges facing the hemisphere. 

    • 24 min
    What's in a Chip? The Rising Conflict Over Mineral Inputs for Semiconductors

    What's in a Chip? The Rising Conflict Over Mineral Inputs for Semiconductors

    Semiconductors form the building blocks of modern digital life. Chips govern everything from missile guidance systems to the headlights in your car, and the fight for the cutting edge of this technology appears to be entering a new phase. The United States, in partnership with allies like Japan and the Netherlands, has sought to cut off China’s access to advanced chip designs and semiconductor manufacturing equipment. In response, China has announced a raft of export controls on minerals needed to produce modern chips, leveraging its dominance in the supply chain for mining and refining key minerals.
    In this episode, Ryan C. Berg sits down with Dr. Chris Miller, Associate Professor with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and author of Chip War: The Fight for the World's Most Critical Technology. Together, they analyze the challenges and choke points in the semiconductor supply chain, including the need to identify and certify alternative suppliers, as well as the role that countries in the Western Hemisphere can play in breaking China's monopoly over the raw material inputs for semiconductors. They also unpack the challenges to getting more mining, refining, and processing online, and how the United States can better partner with allies to shore up this sector of the supply chain.

    • 15 min
    Haiti’s Evolving Political and Security Crisis

    Haiti’s Evolving Political and Security Crisis

    Haiti’s years-long political and security crisis entered a new phase last week when Prime Minister Ariel Henry, Haiti’s acting head of state since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, announced his resignation. Now, Haiti faces a period of profound uncertainty, with a serious power vacuum in government, ascendant criminal groups within striking distance of the halls of state power, and increasingly narrow prospects for a long-awaited international aid mission.
    In this episode, Christopher Hernandez-Roy sits down with Georges Fauriol, Senior Associate with the CSIS Americas Program and fellow with the Caribbean Policy Consortium. Together, they unpack the implications of Henry's resignation, the recent surge in gang activity, as well as what the future may hold as Haiti continues to struggle to come to terms with citizen security. They also discuss the reactions of Haitian civil society, and the lack of substantial action on the part of the international community.

    • 33 min
    LAC Fighters in Ukraine

    LAC Fighters in Ukraine

    Citizens from LAC countries have also played a more direct role in the conflict as foreign fighters for both sides. Neither Moscow nor Kyiv publish exact data on the number or nationality of LAC fighters who join their ranks, but estimates range from several hundred to more than a thousand fighters total spread across each front. 
    On February 23, Christopher Hernandez-Roy, sat down with Elizabeth M.F. Grasmeder, Adjunct Professor of National Security Policy with Duke University, and Andrei Serbin Pont, Executive Director of CRIES-LAC, for a conversation on X (formerly Twitter) about the role of foreign fights from LAC on both sides in Ukraine. Together, they unpacked the motivations of fighters for joining both Ukraine and Russia, why Moscow and Kyiv have turned to recruiting foreign fighters, and the broader implications of war in Ukraine for Latin American countries. 

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

RJG179 ,

Utterly Directionless

Update: The episode on semi conductors was literally nothing but sponsored content from Intel. I understand fundraising, but asking the listener to sit through a 20 minute commercial that never even discusses the region is just stealing the listeners’ time. Try Americas 360 from the Wilson Center, if you’re interested in the region. Earlier: This show would benefit enormously from a cohost, a news from around the region segment like the Radio Southeast Asia formula, the Babel discussion after the interview formula, or some fresh idea. I especially feel like the show is disconnected from the listener in that it picks up occasionally and covers seemingly random research without contributing to an over all picture of the region that the listener can follow and become invested in. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that every few episodes the show becomes Spanish language only, so if you don't speak Spanish, then you’re out of luck.

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