US launches Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity

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by Michelle Russell at just-style.com

First announced by US President Joe Biden last summer, the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity – or Americas Partnership – is a framework for regional cooperation to foster regional competitiveness, resilience, shared prosperity, and inclusive and sustainable investment.

Canada became the latest country to join the Americas Partnership in the last week, joining countries including Barbados, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay.

Speaking at the launch, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai underscored how the Americas Partnership advances the Biden-Harris Administration’s worker-centred trade policy to deliver economic opportunity for workers and communities throughout a more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive Western Hemisphere.  

“This will be a historic agreement with one of the most dynamic economic regions in the world. The Western Hemisphere accounts for almost 32% of global GDP, and the United States’ ties with the region are broad and deep.

“We have some of our most longstanding trade agreements in the region, like our agreements with Chile, Colombia and Peru. We also have some of our newest, like the renegotiated USMCA and the Protocol on Trade Rules and Transparency with Ecuador.

“We are committed to working with our partners to fully implement these existing agreements.  But at the same time, we recognise that we need new tools to address new problems that will shape the coming decades – to better integrate our economies, reinforce our regional ties, and ensure that the benefits of trade are shared by all our citizens. That’s exactly what we intend to do through the Partnership.”

The Partnership is seeking to conclude high-standard agreements in a number of areas, including:

  • To bolster our regional competitiveness and resilience, we seek to strengthen the diversity, sustainability, and resilience of our supply chains by expanding regional trade ties, and to advance quality infrastructure. Working with our stakeholders, we intend to explore opportunities for technical assistance and to exchange information and best practices to improve our coordination of crisis response measures and prevent disruptions in key regional supply chains. We aim to strengthen capacities to promote and enforce strong environmental protections and labour standards, including the eradication of forced labour, at every step along our regional value chains. This work will include efforts to address the climate crisis, food security challenges, and vulnerabilities in global supply chains.
  • In line with our collective efforts to combat the climate crisis, we intend to seek opportunities to address climate change through mitigation, adaptation, and resilience, as well as through clean and renewable energy and energy efficiency. We intend to work with civil society, public and private actors, and regional and multilateral financial institutions to explore ways to leverage resources and other necessary instruments to create decent jobs, facilitate a just and sustainable clean energy transition, and increase opportunities for the most vulnerable communities.
  • Our longstanding trade and commercial relationships will serve as the foundation for our efforts to expand the benefits of sustainable, inclusive, and responsible trade to all. Along these lines, we intend to promote greater economic integration in the region and seek to increase collaboration on customs, trade facilitation, logistics, and good regulatory practices; address non-tariff barriers; and promote sustainable quality investment. We intend to promote trade that advances workers’ rights and economic security and elevates the role of the self-employed, entrepreneurs, and micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises to support supply chain diversification.
  • We seek to build an environment of trust and confidence in the digital economy, and to advance secure and resilient digital infrastructure and platforms.  We also intend to foster an inclusive digital economy by taking concerted steps to close the digital divide, promote digital-enabling skills, and leverage digital tools, digital literacy, and technology to meet our goals.
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