From July 29th to August 6th, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross visited three South American countries – Brazil, Argentina, and Peru – in order to further solidify the strong relationships the United States has with these nations as well as to push for an end to the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.
“South American nations are critical partners for the United States in economic, political, and humanitarian matters,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The stability of the Western Hemisphere is our shared responsibility – each of our great countries succeeds and fails together.”
In Brazil, Secretary Ross highlighted the United States’ ongoing commitment to a strong commercial and economic relationship in meetings with President Jair Bolsonaro, Minister of Economy Paulo Guedes, Minister of Science, Technology, Innovation, and Communications Marcos Pontes, and Minister of Infrastructure Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas. During his visit, the Secretary also delivered remarks to AmCham Brasil and spoke on the necessity to address reconstruction needs in Venezuela.
While in Argentina, the Secretary met with President Mauricio Macri, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Faurie, Minister of Production Dante Sica, and Secretary of Energy Gustavo Lopetegui, to whom he expressed the commitment of the Trump Administration to reinforce the relationship with their country and the entire region. He also sat down with AmCham Argentina to discuss the business environment and potential growth opportunities.
In Peru, Secretary Ross, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams joined the Meeting in Support of Interim President of Venezuela Juan Guaidó. The attendees discussed the effort to restore the rule of law and democracy in Venezuela as well as highlighted the humanitarian crisis that is gravely affecting the Venezuelan people. During the stop, the Secretary also took time to meet with Peruvian officials and U.S. and local business leaders on the economic climate.
In recent days, the Trump Administration has increased the pressure on the Maduro regime. Earlier this week, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order blocking all property of the Venezuelan Government in the jurisdiction of the United States in order to further isolate Maduro’s regime from the global financial system and the international community. Overall, the Trump Administration has issued 30 rounds of sanctions targeting approximately 200 individuals and entities.