Posted at 11:29 AM
Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker highlighted the importance of trade relationships in the Western Hemisphere in an armchair discussion at the Council of the America’s 46th Annual Washington Conference.
During her armchair discussion, Secretary Pritzker highlighted the impact that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will have on the trade relationship between the United States and the other countries in the Western Hemisphere that are party to the agreement, including Canada, Mexico, Peru, and Chile. While the United States has free trade agreements (FTA) with each of these four countries, TPP is a more modern agreement that addresses issues pertaining to new industries such as the digital economy, and raises the bar beyond existing standards on issues like fair wages, safe workplaces, and strong environmental rules. By creating new economic opportunities for the countries it includes, TPP will also incentivize others in the region to pursue a path of engagement, rather than isolation.
Secretary Pritzker also discussed her historic trip to Cuba with President Obama in March 2016, intended to build on the progress the Administration has made toward normalization of relations between our two countries. Following the visit to Havana, Secretary Pritzker joined President Obama in Buenos Aires, where they met with the newly-elected Argentine President Mauricio Marci in an effort to increase cooperation in a range of areas including trade and investment, renewable energy and climate change, and security issues. Secretary Pritzker and Argentine Minister of Production Francisco Cabrera signed a Memorandum of Intent establishing a U.S.-Argentina Commercial Dialogue, which will aim to strengthen the economic and commercial ties between the two countries by fostering communication across our respective public and private sectors.
The Obama Administration’s efforts to increase trade and investment with Cuba and Argentina is having a positive impact on U.S. relations with other countries in the region. By strengthening partnerships and competitiveness between the U.S. and Latin American, economic opportunity can be extended across the entire Western hemisphere.