Background

President Biden announced June 9 the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity, a trade and economic cooperation initiative the White House said will build on the free trade agreements the U.S. already has with countries in Latin America and include other “likeminded economic partners.” The five pillars of this new initiative are as follows.

Sustainable and inclusive trade - focusing on how to better cooperate on customs facilitation, advance transparency and good regulatory practices, pursue high standards on the digital economy, responsibly support emerging technologies, build resilience in energy and food supply chains, advance strong labor and environment standards, and incentivize corporate accountability

Supply chains - diversifying and rebalancing supply chains to minimize disruption risks while taking steps to ensure supply chains are transparent and free of exploitative labor conditions (a senior administration official said work in this area will “focus on helping our hemisphere reduce overt dependence and concentrations on certain countries and do the nearshoring and co-investment to run hard at those investments that make good economic and security sense for us”)

Economic institutions – pivoting public institutions and financing mechanisms to leverage greater levels of private investment and ensuring that international financial and economic institutions adequately prioritize Latin America

Environment – accelerating clean energy technology, more sustainable forest conservation and management, and low-emission and resilient agricultural practices; and decarbonizing economies, enhancing biodiversity, and building resilience to climate impacts

Administration – exploring how to broaden participation in the formal economy, including tax and anti-corruption measures as well as cooperation and infrastructure investments in areas such as migration, education, health, unemployment and retirement, childcare, and women’s economic empowerment

White House officials said formal negotiations are expected to begin in the next two to three months, possibly at a ministerial meeting in the fall, once each of these areas is “scoped” and there is a better sense of which countries plan to participate in which pillars. The officials added that the U.S. anticipates “a pretty ambitious timeline” for moving this initiative forward.

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