News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C. Fri, May 24, 2013: Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden is set to begin a trip to South America and one Caribbean nation from on May 26th.
The Vice President will visit Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil, beginning first with Colombia on May 27th. The trip comes on the heels of President Obama’s recent visit to Mexico and Costa Rica and U.S. officials on Thursday said it is “our latest demonstration of the United States’ commitment to reinforcing our partnerships in the Americas.”
During a conference call Thursday, a senior White House official said “the countries of the Americas, including Colombia and Brazil, are playing an increasingly large and important role in global affairs, and that’s just one more reason for why the hemisphere and the region are so important to U.S. interests.”
Biden was in Colombia in 2000. There during this visit he will have a chance to meet with people and business leaders who will demonstrate firsthand to him the importance of U.S. commercial relationships in the years since our free trade agreement came into force.
In Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday, May 28th, the Vice President will meet with President Carmona and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and participate in a meeting and working lunch with a number of other Caribbean leaders who have been invited by Trinidad and Tobago to a regional meeting with the Vice President.
And in that series of meetings, the official said there should be “good discussions on regional efforts to promote economic growth; on cooperation around citizen security; on energy issues, and other issues that are high on the priority list of our partners across the Caribbean.”
Then on Wednesday, May 29th, in Brazil, the vice president will visit Rio de Janeiro, where he will have a public speaking event to help frame the US’ view of Brazil at a strategic partner, and the trajectory of the U.S.-Brazil partnership as we head into the future.
He will also tour a Petrobras site and discuss our energy cooperation, meeting with Petrobras officials and Brazilian officials to discuss issues related to the future of energy, both in Brazil and the United States and the global energy picture and will also have the opportunity to discuss with local leaders issues around security and social inclusion.
And then in Brasilia, on Friday, the vice president will meet with President Rousseff and with Vice President Temer, and have a chance to talk about the architecture of the partnership that we’ve built together over the last four years, and then get down to the specifics in terms of the bilateral and global agenda that our two countries share moving forward.
The visit by the US veep will be followed closely by Chinese President Xi, who will also visit Trinidad and two Latin American nations from May 28th.
China’s interest and investments in the Caribbean and Latin America has been mounting amidst lagging U.S. investments and criticism that the U.S. government continues to place the Americas on its back burner.