Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

President Trump in front of a border wall prototype in San Diego. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Distraught as much of the international community was over President Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, Latin American leaders may have seen it coming earlier than many. Since the campaign trail, Trump has set a new, highly disruptive tone for U.S. relations with the region.

Why it matters: With a few notable exceptions, Latin America sees itself as supporting the principles of the liberal international order, particularly cooperation on nuclear arms control. The U.S. withdrawal from the Iran deal will make it much harder for the region's leaders to sell their publics on the idea that the U.S. lives up to its commitments.

These concerns arise after a long series of insults and snubs by Trump, as both candidate and president:

  • During the campaign, Trump used toxic rhetoric about Mexico before calling for new hardline immigration policies, the construction of a border wall along the U.S.–Mexico border and the renegotiation of NAFTA.
  • On day three of his presidency, Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP). Once a signature free-trade deal for the U.S. and key regional allies Chile, Mexico and Peru, TPP proposed a framework for better competition with Chinese economic influence in the Americas and East Asia.
  • Trump later rolled back the Obama administration’s opening to Cuba, delivering on a campaign promise to take a harder line with Havana.
  • Most recently, Trump canceled his visit to Lima, Peru, for the tri-annual Summit of the Americas attended by regional presidents, citing the need to respond to chemical weapons attacks by Syria’s Assad — an understandable excuse, but a snub is a snub.

The bottom line: The region is not in a strong enough position to choose its friends, but its patience may not be limitless. As the U.S. cedes its role in responsible global leadership, overtures from China and Russia will seem increasingly attractive. Latin America needs opportunities to develop, even if it means engaging in the risky business of cozying up to authoritarian regimes, though Trump's disruptions continue to lower the relative reputational costs of doing so.

What's next: Amid heightened conflicts in the Middle East, Latin American countries may grow unwilling to stick their necks out for the U.S. on the global stage. Missile attacks on Syria may have been a dress rehearsal for what could come if the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem proves to be the start of a new cycle of Israeli–Palestinian conflict, leading Latin America to distance itself from U.S. military force.

Michael McCarthy is a research fellow at American University’s CLALS, an adjunct professor at George Washington University's Elliot School for International Affairs and the founder and CEO of Caracas Wire.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 mins ago - Economy & Business

Stuart Haselden steps down as CEO of luggage startup Away

Away co-founder Jen Rubio, who will step in as interim CEO. Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Glamour

Stuart Haselden is stepping down as CEO of smart luggage-maker Away, Axios has learned. He'll be succeeded on an interim basis by company co-founder Jen Rubio, and an outside search firm has been retained to find a permanent successor.

Why it matters: Haselden, formerly with Lululemon, appeared to have established executive stability at Away, whose co-founder Steph Korey previously resigned as CEO before retaking the reins alongside Haselden and then resigning again.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
2 hours ago - Sports

2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

10 months ago, the Tokyo Olympics were postponed. Now, less than six months ahead of their new start date, the dreaded word is being murmured: "canceled."

Driving the news: The Japanese government has privately concluded that the Games will have to be called off, The Times reports (subscription), citing an unnamed senior government source.

Biden's centrist words, liberal actions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden talks like a soothing centrist. He promises to govern like a soothing centrist. But early moves show that he is keeping his promise to advance a liberal agenda.

Why it matters: Never before has a president done more by executive fiat in such a short period of time than Biden. And those specific actions, coupled with a push for a more progressive slate of regulators and advisers, look more like the Biden of the Democratic primary than the unity-and-restraint Biden of the general election.