Shannon K. O'Neil

Latin America's Moment

O'Neil analyzes developments in Latin America and U.S. relations in the region.

Visiting the Panama Canal

by Shannon K. O'Neil Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Panama Canal Panama Canal

Last week I was in Panama, and had the good fortune of visiting the Canal. In its Centennial year, it is a truly impressive feat of engineering, some forty-eight miles long, rising and falling some eighty-five vertical feet (roughly eight stories) overall through three lock systems and six different chambers. Its storied construction is captured eloquently in David McCullough’s The Path Between the Seas—a great read for those interested in this piece of history. Read more »

North America’s Economic Integration

by Shannon K. O'Neil Tuesday, January 7, 2014
General Motors auto workers load the new Chevrolet Camaro for delivery, at the company's Oshawa Ontario facility, April 8, 2009 (Fred Thornhill/Courtesy Reuters). General Motors auto workers load the new Chevrolet Camaro for delivery, at the company's Oshawa Ontario facility, April 8, 2009 (Fred Thornhill/Courtesy Reuters).

Alan Berube and Joseph Parilla at the Brookings Institution recently published a report on the impressive amount of North American regional trade (with a great interactive that traces exports and imports across the continent). U.S. cities send and receive over $500 billion in goods from Mexican and Canadian cities—out of a total $1.1 trillion in intra-regional trade in 2012. The vast majority (some 69 percent) of this trade is in advanced industries (aerospace, automotive, electronics, machinery, pharmaceuticals, and precision instruments), an economic bright spot in the recovering U.S. economy. Here is a quick look at just how vital the United States’ regional trading ties are for its economic strength and competitiveness. Read more »