“Promoting economic growth in Latin America is especially important now, as the region continues to combat COVID-19 and look towards a road to recovery,” said U.S.Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Ambassador Michael Kozak.
The United States is the top trading partner for over two-thirds of the Western Hemisphere’s countries. As the region’s economies begin to reopen, the United States is doing its part to spur post-COVID economic growth through its Growth in the Americas or América Crece initiative. Countries of the region face a critical infrastructure gap, which limits economic growth. América Crece channels the resources and expertise of the U.S. government to attract private sector investment in energy, transportation, and telecommunications infrastructure across the region.
To date, the United States has signed América Crece agreements with ten partner countries: Panama, Chile, Jamaica, Argentina, Colombia, and more recently, El Salvador, Ecuador, Brazil, Honduras, and Bolivia. These agreements include commitments by the partner countries to strengthen competitiveness and transparency in line with international best practices.
The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, or DFC, is America’s development bank and a critical tool in driving investment in support of América Crece. The United States expects the DFC to bring about at least $12 billion worth of investment in the region over the next five years.
Another important player in revitalizing Western Hemisphere economies are international financial institutions, including the Inter-American Development Bank.
Democracy is essential to building reliable infrastructure and a future of economic growth in the Americas. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of secure supply chains with trusted partners. Countries, including the United States, stressed Ambassador Kozak, “must reduce reliance on Chinese manufactured goods.” That’s why “the United States is ramping up its efforts to strengthen and diversify U.S. supply chains and to rebuild hemispheric north-south supply chains. The goal is to move both sourcing and manufacturing closer to home.”
The United States will continue to be the partner of choice in helping the Western Hemisphere overcome the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, growth, said Ambassador Kozak, remains the essential condition for cementing democratic institutions and completing the vision of a hemisphere of freedom.