With just one day before Friday’s sequester deadline, the United States government is preparing for massive cuts, but our neighbors south of the border should also be preparing, as Latin America will not escape the effects of the spending cuts.
Though much of the roughly $85 billion spending cuts will be solely domestic, consulates, airports, and countries receiving foreign aid will have to make adjustments as well.
Those traveling through airports will face longer lines, as screening will take longer due to employee cuts. Lines will also be longer at U.S. consulates in Latin America and those waiting for documentation will face longer wait times.
Foreign aid, while it will not be halted, will decrease by about $500 million worldwide. Worrisome is the fact that much of the aid provided to our neighbors to the south goes to security assistance, meaning the fight against drug cartels may shift throughout parts of Latin America.
Shannon K. O’Neil with Council on Foreign Relations also notes:
Economists predict that half a point of growth will be shaved off the U.S. economy due to the cuts. Particularly for those countries most closely tied to the United States—Mexico especially, but also most other countries in Central America and the Caribbean—declining American demand could have big consequences. A January 2013 World Bank report estimates that Latin America’s total GDP growth could be reduced by 1.2 percent as a result of the United States’ fiscal uncertainty.