President-elect Joe Biden must build a common agenda and set up policies that simplify trade among the United States, Canada and Latin America, according to Shunko Rojas, Argentina’s former undersecretary for international trade.
“Next year we have the Summit of the Americas [hosted by the U.S.]; it will provide a unique opportunity for the Biden-Harris administration to build a constructive and common agenda for the region,” Rojas said. “They can discuss and agree upon key guiding principles, to set up policies and create incentives to build strong and modern regional supply chains.”
Rojas’ comments were part of a virtual conference on Wednesday titled “The Incoming U.S. Administration and the Future of Supply Chains in the Americas.”
Omar Vargas, 3M’s global head of government affairs, said it is critical for the Biden administration to meet and partner with “other governments in the hemisphere.”
Saint Paul, Minnesota-based 3M is a conglomerate operating in 79 countries.
“[Biden] needs to find a multilateral platform for the Americas, and to discuss and establish agreements regarding the facilitation of trade, especially in a pandemic like this, examine the mechanics of border crossing and the complexities around the trading of various regulated products,” Vargas said.
Maurice Bellan, a managing partner at Washington D.C-based Baker McKenzie, said North America and Latin America are “inextricably linked economically.”
“The Biden-Harris administration is going to have to engage in a way that previous administrations have not; they’re going to have to restore confidence in several governments throughout the Latin American region, that they will have to engage proactively,” Bellan said.
Bellan added that making sure other neighboring countries have access to a COVID-19 vaccine is something the Biden administration needs to address.
“It’s not enough for us to be focused in the United States on making sure that those within the borders of the U.S. have access to a vaccine,” Bellan said. “Our borders are open, as much as people may argue that they aren’t or shouldn’t be. The flow of people and commerce requires that we have a holistic approach to ensuring the integrity of the supply chain, making sure that all persons have access to a vaccine that will keep us all in the region healthy, that has economic value.”
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