A new regional economic partnership has been launched. It builds on a framework U.S. President Joe Biden revealed at the Summit of the Americas. The newly announced 11 partners represent about 90 percent of the Western Hemisphere’s GDP. The plan remains open to other countries willing to join. The question is if Curaçao will seriously explore the possibilities of joining or will again remain on the sideline?*
White House Statement this week:
“At the opening ceremony of the Summit of the Americas, President Biden announced the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity (Americas Partnership), a historic new initiative to drive the hemisphere’s economic growth, tackle the core issues that will define the coming decades, and galvanize greater economic cooperation in our hemisphere.
Today, Secretary of State Blinken and United States Trade Representative Tai are moving this initiative forward with representatives from the initial Western Hemisphere countries who will join them and endorse the principles and high-level goals of the initiative. Those countries are Barbados, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay. This significant group represents about 90 percent of the Western Hemisphere’s GDP and nearly two thirds of its people.
The United States has deep economic ties in the region with existing free trade agreements with nine of our initial partners. The Americas Partnership will strengthen and expand our efforts to drive regional economic growth by focusing on the drivers of bottom-up and middle-out economic growth, good-quality jobs, and our competitiveness. Our workers, our companies, and our people benefit from our close economic ties and deep partnership with our closest neighbors. Through the Americas Partnership, we will ensure that our hemisphere remains among the most dynamic economic regions in the world.
The Americas Partnership is a flexible framework and open to all countries that share our values and vision for a prosperous hemisphere. Following this announcement, we will move quickly toward execution of the Americas Partnership, starting with preparations for future negotiations on commitments and other areas of cooperation. We will continue to consult closely with labor, environmental groups, civil society, industry and businesses, and Congress as we make progress on the President’s vision.
The Americas Partnership will foster regional competitiveness, resilience, shared prosperity, and inclusive and sustainable investment, while tackling the climate crisis, by seeking high standard agreements in these critical areas:
Regional competitiveness: We will focus on the issues that drive our competitiveness and build the proper foundation for sustainable, dynamic economic growth and greater investment, including customs procedures, trade facilitation, logistics, good regulatory practices, and non-tariff barriers.
Resilience: We will leverage our geographic proximity and deep trade ties, and strengthen the sustainability and resilience of our supply chains and grow our small and medium businesses, while protecting our environment and our workers.
Shared prosperity: We must ensure that all can benefit from a dynamic economy. We will focus on ways to make the lives of our peoples fairer and more secure, including investments in workforce development, labor standards, and promotion of quality jobs; expanding financial inclusion; and improving public services while addressing corruption, tax evasion, and other drags on our ability to deliver.
Inclusive and sustainable investment: To unleash our region’s full potential, we will seek to unlock needed financing, reinvigorating regional economic institutions and working together to bring responsible private investment to the region.
President Biden believes the Western Hemisphere is and will continue to be an economic powerhouse, home to some of our most important trade and commercial relationships. We look forward to advancing this partnership through this year.
Alex David Rosaria (53) is a freelance consultant active in Asia & Pacific. He is a former Member of Parliament, Minister of Economic Affairs, State Secretary of Finance and UN Implementation Officer in Africa and Central America. He’s from Curaçao and has a MBA from the University of Iowa. (USA).