Washington, D.C. — In case you missed it, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) participated in a conversation yesterday during the Atlantic Council’s Latin America Center event, “Closer to Home: Bringing Supply Chains Back to the Americas.” In their conversation, the senators highlighted their Americas Trade and Investment Act, or Americas Act – legislation to create an ever-expanding and permanent trade partnership between Western Hemisphere countries and counter China’s growing influence over global manufacturing and geopolitics by strengthening ties in our hemisphere. Cassidy released his discussion draft of the legislation in January and Bennet joined as a co-lead of the legislation last month.
“For decades, Washington has failed to create any comprehensive policy or offer a compelling alternative to Chinese investment in the region. While we’ve been busy elsewhere, China has rushed to fill the void with a surge of trade, investment, and technology. We’ve already seen these relationships pose a long-term threat to local industries, minerals, environment, the rule of law throughout the Western Hemisphere, and I think the Americas Act offers an opportunity for the United States to renew our partnerships across Latin America and the Caribbean and embrace our values together in a shared struggle for democracy and for prosperity,” said Bennet.
“It’s been since John F. Kennedy that the United States has had a coherent policy towards the Western Hemisphere. We have suffered from that,” said Cassidy. “Our Americas Act will make economies across the hemisphere more resilient, governments more stable, and our hemisphere more prosperous.”
“I am extremely glad to continue this work with Senator Cassidy and our partners across the region so we don’t go another 50 years and look back on what could have been. Right now, I’m extremely hopeful looking toward the future with the Americas Act [about] the vast opportunity that we have together to build a prosperous, safe, and free hemisphere. That’s important to us, but it’s really important to our kids and our grandkids,” concluded Bennet.
The conversation also featured Costa Rica Foreign Trade Minister H.E. Manuel Tovar, Panama Minister of Trade and Industry H.E. Federico Alfaro Boyd, and Guatemala Economic Minister H.E. Janio Rosales.Video of the conversation is available HERE.