WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) announced Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) will join his Americas Trade and Investment Act, or Americas Act, as co-lead in the Senate. Cassidy and U.S. Representative Maria Salazar (R-FL-27) introduced the discussion draft in January. The Americas Act would create an ever-expanding and permanent trade partnership of Western Hemisphere countries and counter China’s growing control over global manufacturing and geopolitics by uniting democracies in our hemisphere.
“The U.S. has lacked a coherent Latin America policy for the past 60 years, but now there is a bipartisan focus on investing in the Western Hemisphere to stay competitive with the Chinese Communist Party,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Senator Bennet will be a strong partner in pushing to create a more consistent, effective, and pro-American worker Western Hemisphere policy, making our world safer and more prosperous.”
“Across the Americas, we share deep, rich ties and an enormous opportunity for partnership – but since the end of the Cold War, Washington has failed to offer a compelling alternative to Chinese investment in Latin America,” said Senator Bennet. “We can’t let another 40 years pass without deepening our engagement on trade, climate, and immigration across the region. The Americas Act is an opportunity to live up to our values in our shared struggle for democracy.”
Yesterday, Cassidy spoke at the Council of the Americas Washington Conference to discuss the Americas Act. He highlighted the need for the U.S. to reimagine its neglected Latin America policy and urged the Biden administration to take a more comprehensive approach to the hemisphere. He focused on the plan’s mechanism to expand the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the gold standard for trade agreements, and the new investment corporation that would promote economic development across the hemisphere. The returns generated by the investment corporation would fully pay for the plan.
More than 60 million Americans are of Hispanic descent, helping to make the U.S. the fourth-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Together, the hemisphere grows enough food and produces enough critical minerals to sustain every country in the Americas.