During his recent visit to Santiago, Vice President Mike Pence spoke warmly of the strategic partnership and valued friendship between the United States and Chile.
Referring to Chile as “a beacon of freedom in the Western Hemisphere,” the Vice President hailed
Chile’s economic success as an example for other nations across Latin America to enact their own market-based reforms to spur growth and generate prosperity for their citizens. Noting that “Chile’s embrace of free markets ultimately gave rise to a free society overall,” the Vice President also underscored the strong commercial relations between the United States and Chile.
The two-way trade in goods between the countries in 2016 totaled over 20 billion dollars, stemming in large part from the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement, signed in 2004, and resulting in a 260% increase in trade since that time. Chile is also the one country in Latin America that participates in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. In addition, Chile is a valued partner of the United States in its role in promoting regional security, notably in Central America.
In his press conference with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, Vice President Pence also praised Chile for its support in the face of North Korea’s provocative behavior and for its clear statements in promoting a stable and a nuclear-free North Korean peninsula. He urged Chile, however, to do even more to isolate North Korea, and break all diplomatic and commercial ties to the rogue nation.
Finally, Mr. Pence expressed gratitude for Chile’s leadership in standing with the Venezuelan people and condemning the Maduro regime. He emphasized that the United States will continue to bring the full measure of its economic and diplomatic power to bear until democracy is restored in Venezuela. And he expressed confidence that “working with all our allies across Latin America, we can achieve a peaceable solution to the crisis facing the Venezuelan people.”
The United States cherishes its friendship and strong ties with Chile. And because both countries recognize that freedom is the source of their prosperity and security, Vice President Pence predicted that “the United States and Chile will continue to achieve great progress for our people and our hemisphere.”