WASHINGTON — Today, global tech trade association ITI urged the Biden-Harris Administration to advance the United States’ economic and political relationship with Latin America. In a set of recommendations to the new administration, ITI outlined key areas in which the U.S. should deepen its engagement with Latin America, as the region recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, through the upcoming Ninth Summit of the Americas, by expanding cooperation with Brazil and other countries in Latin America, and facilitating the ongoing implementation and enforcement of the USMCA.
“Security, climate, and economic risks in Latin America, as well as protectionist or anti-competitive policies, are increasing rapidly in the region with a direct impact on the United States,” said Ashley Friedman, Vice President of Policy at ITI. “Countries in the region often go at issues alone, creating risks of fragmentation, contagion, and precedent-setting for unfair, trade restrictive, or investor-unfriendly policies. Early and strategic engagement can greatly benefit the United States as it rebuilds important alliances all over the world and reinvigorates America’s economic growth and resilience.”
Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic presents the opportunity to accelerate the significant gains in economic and digital inclusion that have taken place across the region during the past year. The Biden-Harris Administration should work with leaders in Latin America to build on the recent achievements in access to technology, use of digital payments, leveraging of e-commerce, embrace of cloud policies and government IT transformation, as well as deployment of broadband infrastructure, to continue to make significant strides in enabling all citizens, businesses, and communities to reap the benefits of increased digital connectivity and inclusion.
ITI’s recommendations for deepening U.S. engagement with Latin America include:
- COVID-19 recovery, including the critical role that digital technologies will continue to play in supporting governments, communities, businesses, healthcare providers, and schools in their operations;
- The Summit of the Americas, which the U.S. will host in 2021, as an important early opportunity for the Biden-Harris Administration to reinforce and strengthen U.S. alliances in the region and lay out its strategy for the region;
- Supporting access to information and entrepreneurship in Cuba, including reducing export and engagement barriers, and investing in projects and initiatives that increase demand for the internet in Cuba;
- Expanding bilateral and regional trade to further integrate the economies of the Americas and expand acceptance of strong, rules-based trade commitments that provide a path to inclusive regional growth;
- Implementing and enforcing USMCA, including its landmark digital trade provisions, as an essential mechanism for maintaining the significant degree of commercial integration in North America and safeguarding the daily operations of thousands of U.S. companies across all sectors;
- Promotion of greater cooperation with Brazil, which, as the largest economy in Latin America, represents an important partner for promoting cooperation through the region; and
- Improving regional security in the Northern Triangle by utilizing technology as a tool to help strengthen the economies and the governments in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.