US
Kamala Harris, US officials to outline vision for sustainable growth in the Americas
The annual Washington Conference on the Americas - held for the 51st time this year - will be entitled ‘Democratic, Prosperous, Secure: Restoring a Partnership for Sustainable Growth".

US Vice President Kamala Harris will join a host of other senior US officials on Tuesday to lay out their vision for the Biden administration's agenda for the Americas at an event sponsored by the New York-based Council of the Americas.

The annual Washington Conference on the Americas - held for the 51st time this year - will be entitled ‘Democratic, Prosperous, Secure: Restoring a Partnership for Sustainable Growth".

According to the Council of the Americas, the conference will provide leaders and senior officials with a platform to discuss "the critical issues facing our shared region and ways to promote broad-based economic, democratic and social recovery."

In addition to Kamala Harris, the event will also include remarks from Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Julie Chung, the Executive Vice President of the Inter-American Development Bank and John Kerry, currently Special Presidential Envoy for Climate at the Department of State.

Additionally, the event will feature Gregory Meeks, the chairman of the House of Representative's Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as senior executives from Chevron, Merck & Co and General Motors.

Several Latin American officials will also be present, including Dominican Foreign Minister Roberto Alvarez and Juan Manuel Restrepo, Colombia's Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism.

The event is traditionally seen as one of a key way for senior officials to communicate their visions for the future of bilateral and multilateral relations in the region. 

According to the Council of the Americas, the conference will provide leaders and senior officials with a platform to discuss "the critical issues facing our shared region and ways to promote broad-based economic, democratic and social recovery

In 2020 - when the event was held virtually as a series of smaller - events, for example, then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used the opportunity to highlight the importance of promoting democracy in the Americas, as well as highlight the importance of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that entered into force on July 1.

"When the dust is settled, our companies will have new clarity," he said.

Speaking a few days later at another virtual event as part of the conference, World Bank Group President David Malpass warned that Latin America is likely to need the help of multilateral institutions such as the World Bank to supports it recovery from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as take steps to allow labor and capital to move from struggling industries into new jobs.

"Governments can't create all the jobs needed for the people losing their jobs now," he said.

Lastly, Chilean president Sebastián Piñera spoke of Chile's achievements since the country returned to democracy in 1989.

"We've had three decades of progress, because we've reached a strong agreement in our society based on a strong commitment to democracy and the rule of law, strong commitment to open markets and a fair economy, and a strong commitment to defeating poverty and increasing equality of opportunity," he said.

The event is one of several planned by the Council of the Americas over the coming weeks and months that revolve around the hemisphere's governments and economies.

On May 13, for example, the Council will host an event in collaboration with Mexico's Ministry of Finance to discuss the prospects for Mexico's economic recovery and new opportunities that will arise in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The event will feature both Mexico's Minister of Public Finance and Public Credit, Arturo Herrera Gutiérrez and Minister of Economy Tatiana Clouthier. 

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