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Biden Gathering Leaders From Across Americas to Deepen Ties – Bloomberg

White House summit aims to boost Americas Partnership forum. Gathering includes heads of government or envoys of 11 nations. US President Joe Biden  (Al Drago/Bloomberg)

Eric Martin, Bloomberg News

EnergiesNet.com 10 31 2023

President Joe Biden on Friday will host almost a dozen leaders from throughout the Americas as his administration establishes a new forum to bolster regional competitiveness, address migration and its causes, and offer the US as a geostrategic alternative to China.

The White House envisions the gathering of the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity as the creation of an enduring platform in which heads of government meet every couple years and ministers work in between, according to senior administration officials. The session on Friday will concentrate on deepening trade and financial relationships.

Leaders expected to come to Washington include Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as heads of government from Chile to Peru, according to people familiar with the planning. All but Barbados, Ecuador and Uruguay have free-trade deals with the US. With the Biden administration unwilling to negotiate tariff-lowering deals with new partners, the focus is on building more resilient supply chains for things like lithium and computer chips.

The gathering comes on the heels of an agreement this month that saw Venezuela’s government pledge to allow banned opposition candidates to run in the 2024 presidential election — the first major political concession in a decade — in exchange for sanctions relief. The Biden administration considers those kinds of developments and events like Friday’s summit as enhancements for US national security, the officials said.

The meeting will include a forum on “responsible investment” on Thursday hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is scheduled to participate.

The US has been trying to aid countries in the region such as Ecuador to combat the surge in violence from organized crime; assist Mexico in confronting the poverty and insecurity that send undocumented migrants north; and help Panama and Costa Rica handle the waves of people passing through. Migrant encounters on the US southern border climbed to a record 2.5 million in the year ended in SeptemberRead More: Venezuelan Court Orders Suspension on Opposition Primary

Amid the wars in Ukraine and Israel, the meeting will be Biden’s most extensive multi-nation engagement with leaders from the Western Hemisphere since the June 2022 Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles.

Asked to comment, a White House spokesman referred to a statement from Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre earlier this month saying that Biden planned at the summit to “reaffirm the United States’ commitment to work together with our partners to deepen economic integration in our hemisphere, drive more inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and tackle the underlying economic drivers of irregular migration in our hemisphere.”

bloomberg.com 10 30 2023

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