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In a new paper, Patricia I. Vásquez, a global fellow in the Wilson Center’s Latin American Program, explores the distinct approaches in Chile and Argentina to the development of their lithium industries. The region holds some of the world’s largest lithium deposits, and Chile and Argentina are the world’s second- and fourth-largest producers, respectively. Vásquez recently visited the salt flats in Chile and Argentina. In Argentina, she found unexpected dynamism in the lithium industry, despite economic and political conditions that have discouraged investment in other sectors. By contrast, Vásquez writes, neighboring Chile, famed for its investor-friendly policies, has kept its lithium industry under strict government control, limiting the role of the private sector.

About the Author

image - Patricia I. Vásquez

Patricia I. Vásquez

Global Fellow;
Independent Energy Expert, Former Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace
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Latin America Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin America Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

Argentina Project

The Argentina Project is the premier institution for policy-relevant research on politics and economics in Argentina.   Read more

Wahba Institute for Strategic Competition

The Wahba Institute for Strategic Competition works to shape conversations and inspire meaningful action to strengthen technology, trade, infrastructure, and energy as part of American economic and global leadership that benefits the nation and the world.  Read more