A global trade war may, or may not, be around the corner. US moves to slap protective tariffs on imports of aluminium and steel caused an initial ripple of global concern. Further tariffs on imports from China, and Chinese countermeasures, have also worried the markets. Meanwhile, the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) still hangs in the balance. The election of a populist president in Mexico may increase uncertainty over trade. Whether a real storm is on the way, or whether it will end up being nothing more than a passing squall, it is still worth asking how Latin America would cope in a much more protectionist world.