We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Biden's plan to pitch Latin America reboot at summit dogged by dispute and dissent

Biden's plan to unveil a package to spur recovery in Latin America, help stem immigration and counter China's growing regional economic clout has been marred by Washington's decision to exclude Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the summit.

People walk past a stand that sells toys and other products imported from China at Central Market in Lima
People walk past a stand that sells toys and other products imported from China at Central Market in Lima, Peru on August 9, 2018.
MARIANA BAZO/REUTERS
We are part of The Trust Project.

LOS ANGELES — President Joe Biden kicks off a summit on Wednesday that was conceived as a platform to showcase U.S. leadership in reviving Latin American economies and tackling migratory pressures, but has instead been undermined by discord over the guest list.

Biden's plan to unveil a package to spur recovery in Latin America, help stem immigration and counter China's growing regional economic clout has been marred by a partial boycott by leaders upset at Washington's decision to exclude Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the summit.

More news on China
The issue of Taiwan loomed over a meeting in Tokyo of leaders of the Quad grouping of the United States, Japan, Australia and India, who stressed their determination to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region in the face of an increasingly assertive China.
Tourism-dependent Sri Lanka, where India and China jostle for influence, is facing a dire shortage of foreign exchange, fuel and medicines, and economic activity has slowed to a crawl.
Russia fired missiles at an airport near Lviv on Friday, a city where hundreds of thousands found refuge far from Ukraine's battlefields, as Moscow tries to regain the initiative in its stalled campaign against Ukraine.
The comments come a day before the U.S. government is due to release full-year trade data that analysts expect to show a significant shortfall in China's pledge to increase purchases of U.S. farm and manufactured goods, energy and services.
With geopolitical tensions on both sides of the Eurasian land mass at their most taut for decades, Putin and Xi publicly took each other's sides in a range of disputes, notably Ukraine, where the West accuses Putin of preparing for war.

U.S. officials hope the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles and a parallel gathering of top business executives can pave the way for greater economic cooperation as regional nations grappling with higher inflation work to bring supply chains stretched by the COVID-19 pandemic closer to home.

"It's much better for us ... to have a supply chain here in the Americas than it is for us to be dependent on a supply chain that comes from China," U.S. ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar told Reuters on the sidelines of the summit.

Seeking to present alternatives to China, U.S. officials said Biden would unveil an "Americas Partnership" on Wednesday to speed pandemic recovery by building on existing trade deals.

ADVERTISEMENT

The plan would aim to mobilize investments, reinvigorate the Inter-American Development Bank, create clean energy jobs, strengthen supply chains and promote "sustainable and inclusive trade" in the region, one administration official said.

Still, an initiative that promotes jobs abroad could face U.S. protectionist pushback, as well as questions about how many widely divergent economies could make it work.

The Biden administration also announced steps to boost health security in the Americas, such as plans to train 500,000 public health and medical professionals within five years.

It has framed the summit as an opportunity for the United States to reaffirm its commitment to Latin America after years of comparative neglect under Biden's Republican predecessor Donald Trump.

But tensions have repeatedly dogged the preparations.

Americas Summit in Los Angeles
Preparations continue as the United States prepares to host the Ninth Americas Summit in Los Angeles, on June 5, 2022.
MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS

Diplomatic cracks yawned wide this week when Washington opted not to invite Communist-run Cuba and the leftist governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua, arguing their record on human rights and democracy made it impossible.

Rebuffed in his demand that all countries must be invited, Mexico's president said he would stay away, deflecting attention away from Biden's goals and toward regional divisions.

The leaders of Guatemala and Honduras, two of the countries that send most migrants to the United States, also said they would not go, undermining efforts by Biden officials to craft a "declaration" on joint plans to address the phenomenon.

ADVERTISEMENT

Still, leaders from more than 20 countries in the region will attend, including Canada, Brazil and Argentina, organizers said.

Biden, in what is being billed as a policy speech to open the summit, will preview the migration declaration to be announced on Friday. Officials say it will include specific commitments from leaders to help address the challenge.

Detentions of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border have hit record levels this year, and on Monday another caravan of people numbering thousands set off north from southern Mexico.

(Reporting by Dave Graham, Matt Spetalnick and Daina Solomon; additional reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Jeff Mason; editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Clarence Fernandez.)

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

Related Topics: JOE BIDENECONOMYCHINA
What to read next
One of the mightiest storms to hit the U.S. mainland in recent years, Ian flooded communities before plowing across the peninsula to the Atlantic seaboard. Local power companies said more than 2.5 million homes and businesses in Florida remained without power.
The right foods and a good strategy can make even the pickiest of eaters look forward to the midday meal.
The November 2021 $1 trillion infrastructure bill provides $5 billion to help states install EV chargers along interstate highways over five years. States now have access to more than $1.5 billion to help build EV chargers, USDOT said. The White House announced earlier this month it had approved 35 of the 50 state plans.