The United States revealed the main challenges of the Alliance for Economic Prosperity in the Americas
José Fernandez, Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, indicated that the 12 countries that joined this initiative seek to promote a hemisphere “more prosperous and democratic”
José Fernandez, Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and Environment (Dwayne Senior/Bloomberg)
Last Friday, 12 countries in the region issued a joint declaration on the creation of the Alliance for Economic Prosperity in the Americas, which seeks to deepen economic cooperation, as well as strengthen regional stability and prosperity.
The United States, Barbados, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay, were the signatories of the initiative.
This Monday José W. Fernandez, Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment of the United States, offered a teleconference in which Infobae participatedto talk about the main challenges and ambitions of the Alliance, which, he said, represents a “priority” for the Joe Biden government.
“In these four months we have held extensive consultations with the participating governments to develop an ambitious agenda that addresses vital issues for our future,” said the US official, while explaining that, in addition to governments, sectors of civil society, unions and private companies and companies also participate in the project. public.
According to him, in the coming months there will be new announcements and opened up the possibility of more countries in the region joining: “The alliance will be a framework that will be open to other countries.< b> In this first phase we are going to focus on developing a framework that reflects our level of ambition, and then we are going to have conversations with other countries to extend the reach of this alliance. Our idea is that new countries join, we will talk with our partners so that the alliance is as inclusive as possible.”
Fernandez clarified that the only condition that the Alliance will impose for the entry of new partners is that these countries “share our vision of a more prosperous and democratic hemisphere.” Without mentioning them, he acknowledged that “there are countries that don't meet” those standards, “but most do and are more than welcome to be a part.”
He also revealed the main pillars of this initiative to improve regional competitiveness. First, he referred to the need to improve the customs system, the regulatory system, and the regional workforce capacity.
IX Summit of the Americas, in the United States
The second point he mentioned is “sustainability”: “One of the pillars is sustainability, how we achieve a more sustainable and fair system”. In this regard, he recalled that “those who tend to suffer the most from climate change are the poorest countries and populations.”
He also announced that the member countries of the Alliance are going to “promote clean energy” and support countries that want to do so: “Today, manufacturing a power plant that uses renewable energy is cheaper, in some cases up to 40 % cheaper, than building a power plant based on coal or gas. Climate change is an existential challenge for humanity.”
“Renewable energy is a very important issue, and many countries highlighted it during the negotiations,” he added.
He also highlighted countries that want to improve their supply chains, and those that are redoubling their efforts “in how to improve for the next pandemic, and improve the health system”.
Another pillar mentioned by the US undersecretary is “shared prosperity”. In this regard, he valued countries “that want to improve the rule of law, reduce corruption, and reduce their tax system in order to contribute to their own development.”
Lastly, the investment. We have to join the private sector, ”she completed. In this sense, he announced that the Alliance will support, for example, the reforms of international banks in the region, such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Regarding the need to improve the customs system, he commented on the problems presented by many companies “that want to export to the United States”: “He tells us that they manufacture products in 3-4 countries, but then they have to find a way to assemble those products, but many times the customs system does not work”. For this reason, Fernandez affirmed that the Alliance “seeks a way to unite our processes to be more competitive”.
For his part, the North American official also stressed the intention of the Alliance to collaborate for the growth and development of small and medium-sized companies: “Something we have seen is that small and medium-sized companies often do not have the resources to take advantage of international trade. Many times they are family businesses that do not have the legal department to manage the paperwork (…) We want them to also benefit from this, because they are the entities that create the most middle class in our countries, it is a way of expanding the middle class ”.
Fernandez clarified that last Friday was a declaration in which the signatory countries “established the ambitions”: “These objectives must now be reflected in much more detailed documents ”.