The Minerals Manhattan Project

China, Energy, and the Americas, ft. Jeremy Martin

April 28, 2020 Emily Hersh Season 1 Episode 7
The Minerals Manhattan Project
China, Energy, and the Americas, ft. Jeremy Martin
Show Notes

Jeremy Martin is the VP for Energy and Sustainability at the Institute of the Americas. He joins the Minerals Manhattan Project to share his thoughts on the rising role of China in the Americas.

Jeremy tells the story of why the Institute of the Americas was founded, and the market-based private sector push to better the relationship between the role of commerce and economic development in communications.

We get how the Cold War and private sector influenced the relationship between the United States and Latin America, but tied into a new reality where low and negative oil prices have influenced both the United States and Argentina to enact anti-market policies to prop up the market.

Jeremy shares how populist leaders in Latin America like Mexico's AMLO play with terms like "neoliberalism" while implementing austerity. At the same time, the United States has turned inwards with anti-trade, anti-immigration rhetoric. 

Emily challenges what she sees as a "capitalism on the way up, socialism on the way down" approach from policymakers in the United States, and Jeremy counters with the intersection of policymaking and politics. We discuss the sad reality that the current pandemic is destroying the idea of American exceptionalism and "values".

Pivoting to China, we discuss whether or not "China" has crept up as a major force in the Americas. Jeremy goes into the Belt and Road initiative, demonstrating the state directed push to invest in Latin American energy assets and infrastructure. In Latin America, China is playing the kind of long game that the United States is just not good at. 

Jeremy gives his "hot take" on the relationship between multilateralism and leadership, and what it means as the United States pulls back from global leadership roles, emphasizing the rise of bilateralism. In the Americas, the concept of a just energy transition has a special weight because there are dependencies on oil and gas that can't be ignored.

We end the conversation discussing what Jeremy sees unfolding over the next decade, using the former fear of "peak oil" to demonstrate how much uncertainty really exists technologically.