Asan Plenum

The Latin American and Caribbean regional integration process itself has opened up to contestation. After September 11, 2001, while the project of the Free Trade Area for the Americas (FTAA) began to dissemble, the foreign policy of the United States shifted its strategic focus. The region lost interest altogether. At the same time, the election of a broad spectrum of progressive and center-left governments in Latin American and the Caribbean turned the tables. In the context of a changing international environment, the regional economies grew profiting from the export of commodities. A new phase of regionalism emerged. Initiatives such as UNASUR, ALBA, and CELAC, constitute a manifestation of transformative regional politics characterized as post-liberal. The main features of this new phase are the return to politics, to a central role for the State and to development and social agendas.