U.S. plans major investment program with Colombia: White House By Reuters

Brazil still plans to privatize 43 airports through 2022: minister


© Reuters.

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials will unveil a major economic investment program with the Colombian government next week as Washington expands its drive to yank supply chains out of China and bring them closer to home, a senior White House official said Thursday.

Colombia is primed to play a pioneering role in the Trump administration’s “Back to the Americas” initiative, Mauricio Claver-Carone, U.S. President Donald Trump’s senior adviser on Latin America, told Reuters in an interview.

He said the plans also include a rural development project worth billions of dollars to be funded in part by private investors, but gave no further details.

The announcements come amid rising tensions between the United States and China over human rights, Hong Kong, security and the coronavirus pandemic, which has triggered the worst recession in Latin America since the 1950s.

They will be made during a visit to the region by U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Admiral Craig Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command, Adam Boehler, chief executive officer of the U.S. International Development Finance Corp (DFC), and himself, Claver-Carone said.

The White House National Security Council first announced the trip on Twitter earlier Thursday, but gave no details. The officials will also visit Panama.

Claver-Carone cited strong private sector interest in the “Back to the Americas” program, which will offer as yet undefined financial incentives to U.S. companies to move production facilities back to the region from Asia.

“There’s huge corporate will and we want to take advantage of that,” he said.

Colombia’s ambassador to the United States, Francisco Santos, in April said his country was in talks with several U.S. companies interested in moving facilities there.

Claver-Carone said security issues would also play a key role during the visit to Colombia, which shares a long border with Venezuela, whose socialist leader Nicolas Maduro has been blacklisted by Washington.

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