11/20/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/20/2023 16:47
Denver - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) joined U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.) and eight bipartisan colleagues to introduce a resolution to counter China's influence in Latin America and across the world.
"The Americas share rich ties and an enormous opportunity for partnership - but since the end of the Cold War, the United States has failed to offer a compelling alternative to Chinese investment in Latin America," said Bennet. "We can't let another 40 years pass without deepening our engagement in this region. With this resolution, we are making a bipartisan commitment to counter China's growing influence over global manufacturing and geopolitics by uniting democracies in our hemisphere and beyond."
"To better counter China's attempts to disrupt international norms and spread its malign influence, including by engaging in coercive economic practices that stymie economic growth and democratic governance, we must work to deepen our economic and diplomatic ties with our Allies and partners in Latin America and around the world," said Shaheen. "These bipartisan resolutions would make clear that the United States can and must make additional economic, security and political investments to remain the partner of choice internationally."
"As we traveled to South America on a bipartisan CODEL earlier this year, it became crystal clear that China's influence in the region is growing and undermining our national interest. It must be the policy of the U.S. government to counter this influence, maintain the dominance of the dollar, and keep our nation as the go-to resource for trade and resources in South America," said Budd.
China is now the largest official creditor and provider of export subsidies in the world, leading to an increased reliance on Chinese capital from amongst developing nations. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses this leverage to saddle these nations with unsustainable debt while refusing to disclose their lending practices or engage in debt restructuring. Recently, South America's two largest economies, Brazil and Argentina, have taken steps to deepen their ties with China. The senators' resolution urges additional U.S. investment in Latin America, including by expanding opportunities for private sector investment in critical infrastructure projects and by developing new public-private partnerships to strengthen the economic engagement of the U.S. and advance democratic governance in the region. It also encourages the Biden administration to work with the Senate to swiftly nominate and confirm Ambassadors to the region and condemns the coercive, malign economic practices of the Chinese Communist Party.
Earlier this year, Bennet joined U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) on the Americas Trade and Investment Act, or Americas Act, as co-lead in the Senate. The landmark Americas Act would create an ever-expanding and permanent trade partnership of Western Hemisphere countries and counter China's increasing influence in Latin America. In May, Bennet delivered remarks at the Inaugural Cities Summit of the Americas in Denver and urged the U.S. to deepen its ties with Latin America on trade, supply chains, climate, and immigration. In June, Bennet and Cassidy participated in a conversation hosted by the Atlantic Council and highlighted their bipartisan efforts to counter China's growing influence over global manufacturing and geopolitics by strengthening ties in our hemisphere.
In addition to Bennet, Shaheen, and Budd, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) also co-sponsored this resolution.
The text of the resolution is available HERE.