Today U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Suzanne P. Clark addressed the Summit of the Americas to articulate commitments and concrete steps that the business community and government leaders advanced at the CEO Summit, which concluded yesterday.
“All of us share a common destiny. We rise and fall together, and we must share a commitment drive progress,” Clark said in her speech. “This Summit may be a moment in time, but it can set the course for action for the months and years ahead.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, hosted the CEO Summit, the official private sector stakeholder forum of the Summit of the Americas and brought together hundreds of businesses and government leaders from across the region. Speakers included President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, 13 heads of state from Latin America and the Caribbean, U.S. cabinet officials including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and CEOs and senior corporate executives representing key companies around the hemisphere (full list of speakers here).
Business and government leaders focused on six critical priorities, including a pro-growth trade agenda, resilient health systems, digital transformation, energy security and sustainability, the rule of law, and support for small and mid-sized companies.
- Supply Chain Assessment: The U.S. Chamber will undertake an assessment of hemispheric supply chains by surveying CEOs and Chief Logistics Officers to identify companies’ priorities and analyze trade flows of critical raw materials and components. The survey will help assess opportunities across the Americas, and we look forward to formally launching the survey at an event with business representatives and leaders from the Alliance for Development in Democracy.
- Trade & Small and Medium Enterprises: The U.S. Chamber and our member companies were proud to host a virtual small and medium enterprise (SME) trade academy this week, which drew the participation of over 3,000 small business owners from 20 countries. The Chamber will expand upon this initiative to enable more businesses across the region to grow through trade. Given that 99% of businesses in the region are SMEs – the very backbone of the hemisphere’s economy – the economic potential of bolstering trade for these businesses is substantial.
- Resilient Health Systems: The U.S. government’s newly announced Americas RISE for Health initiative marks a crucial step forward, as U.S. Chamber’s member companies have been pushing for years to formalize such a regional public-private dialogue on health care.
- Resilience Operations Center of the Americas: In response to the frequency of natural disasters and complex crises impacting the region’s communities and businesses, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation announced a new Resilience Operations Center of the Americas, which will serve as a virtual hub connecting businesses across the region to enhance operational resilience amid natural disasters or other emergencies that require a coordinated response to ensure business continuity and humanitarian assistance.
- Strengthening the Rule of Law: The private sector will support and build on important initiatives like the Alliance for Development in Democracy. The U.S. Chamber applauds the governments of Panama, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica for working collaboratively to strengthen democratic institutions and enhance transparency and predictability for companies. Where democracy and robust institutions thrive, businesses and workers thrive.