U.S. President Barack Obama emphasized his commitment to Latin America at a Colorado campaign rally last Thursday. “(W)e have (not) only not neglected it, we’ve actually been very aggressive in trying to expand those relationships. Trade is significantly up between the U.S. and Latin America since I took on the presidency,” the president said in an interview with Spain’s international news agency Agencia Efe.
Obama responded to a question about his experience in the region, saying, “Keep in mind that I’ve taken a number of trips, to participate in the Summit of the Americas, most recently to Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador, and I was just in Mexico for the G20 summit.”
“And throughout these trips what I’ve emphasized is the importance of strengthening bonds and ties between the U.S. and all the countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean,” he added.
“In very concrete terms, we have partnered on security issues, to dealing with (the) transnational drug trade, to energy issues focused on how we can develop greater energy efficiency and more clean energy,” Mr. Obama said.
The president also mentioned that since taking office in January 2009 his administration has worked on “expanding trade by signing free trade deals with Colombia and Panama and really emphasizing exchanges between young people which create such a strong bond between the U.S. and the region.”
“I expect that I will travel there again. This is going to be a huge growth region with enormous opportunities but also enormous challenges,” he said.
The president concluded that cooperation with Mexico to fight drug trafficking will continue as the new administration headed by Enrique Peña Nieto takes over there in December.