Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, December 12, 2021

In a potential foreshadowing of a shift in global political and economic influence, advances in agronomy and land reform are turning South America into a new breadbasket. Brazil is the main stage for this transformation, but neighboring countries are also benefitting.

Why does this matter? A key part of the United States’ rise to hegemony in the 20th Century was its abundance of food products. Using surplus food as a bargaining chip is a huge advantage when dealing with the developing world. Feeding hungry mouths overseas creates political capital, which helps secure entry into those markets. America’s dominant advantage in this area has been a given for so many decades that it’s just taken for a given now.

Competition from Latin America in food exports represents a challenge in the international arena. As countries in Asia and Africa further develop in the 21st Century, they may have options other than the U.S. and its standard food-aid packages. If Brazil or Argentina supplants American influence in those zones, they can help promote markets for companies based in their countries. Suddenly, it’s a race for resources and markets.

None of this would occur in a vacuum, of course. Ties between Washington and Latin America are strong, and being strengthened by formal trade treaties and informal ties. Other players like Europe, China and Japan also factor in. And cooperative initiatives could prevail over direct confrontations. Still, developments like this always hold the possibility of fundamental new courses, which could manifest themselves dramatically in American society over the next quarter-century.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 12/12/2021 07:04:53 PM
Category: Political, Food, Science | Permalink |

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