President Obama is heading for Colombia today for his second Summit of the Americas. University of Florida Center for Latin American Studies Director Philip Williams says trade will be a central focus during talks with Latin American leaders.[audio:https://www.wuft.org/news/files/2012/04/WILLIAMS2.mp3]
He says countries like Brazil have been booming economically and the United States needs to be involved in that growth. Although traditionally the summit is more talk than action, Williams says there will be decisions made about things most leaders can agree on, like disaster preparedness. Aside from trade, US ties to Latin American drugs will face some scrutiny.[audio:https://www.wuft.org/news/files/2012/04/WILLIAMS6.mp3]
Williams says the US has largely been ignoring its neighbors to the south because of building international conflicts overseas, but that pattern cannot continue.