President Joe Biden will be pitching leaders an ambitious economic agenda when he travels to Los Angeles this week. However, the plan isn’t including any new trade agreements at present time.
On Wednesday, the President will present a proposal aimed at mobilizing new investments in order to create inclusive trade that is fortifying supply chains while promoting decarbonization and biodiversity. This plan also constitutes an update on what has become known as ‘the social contract’ between governments with their citizens.
“The overall objective is to build our economies from the bottom up and the middle out by building on the foundation established by our free trade agreements with the region to better address the inequality and lack of economic opportunity and equity,” shared a senior administration official.
The summit is one of several initiatives to cover in three days. Leaders have speculated about who will be invited and it seemed that the administration prioritized domestic issues over economic engagement.
Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador has revealed he will not attend this year’s gathering for international leaders because Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua were excluded from the event.
The administration’s agenda for Latin American countries is to improve ties with their neighbors and discuss issues like immigration, climate change, and economic influence. The plan seems unlikely to fulfill desires in trade access.
“I really worry America has sort of walked away from our engagement in Central and Latin America, and I think it’s going to take a deliberate, concerted effort to re-engage,” said House Ways and Means Committee’s member and free trade vocal supporter Rep. Kevin Brady. “I don’t see that happening at the Americas summit, principally because the whole world knows the president’s not interested in enforceable trade agreements that can help boost investment in two-way trade.”
Biden is tipped to discuss the economic agenda and health initiatives on the first day of the summit before focusing on climate change, food security, and migration.