President Biden: The Importance of Unlocking Economic Potential in the Americas

At the IV CEO Summit of the Americas, President Biden made the case that nations of the Americas needed to work together to unlock more economic potential.


Air Date: June 9, 2022

Featured Guests: President Joe Biden, President, United States of America

Over two years into the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent social and economic turbulence, leaders across the Americas are looking for innovative solutions to rebuild and strengthen the global economy. On Day 2 of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Department of State’s IV CEO Summit of the Americas, President Joe Biden addressed the conference on global affairs.

In his speech, President Biden talked about the economic, infrastructure, and investment issues facing our nation and the world in 2022 and how the federal government is addressing them to unlock economic potential in the Americas.

Updating Our Means of Economic Growth

President Biden began his address by stating his vision for the future of economic growth in America. In order to grow the U.S. economy, the President advocated for retiring the economic policy of trickle-down economics.

In the President’s eyes, this philosophy of giving tax breaks to the wealthy so their spending “trickles down” to everyone else, is out of date.

“It’s time to put a nail in the coffin … of trickle-down economics,” said President Biden. “It doesn't work. It keeps yielding the same results, greater inequities, slower growth, less competition, and less innovation.”

“In the past few years, we've exposed the weakness of prioritizing short-term profits and working exclusively to maximize efficiency” he continued. “We learn firsthand the pain that happens when just in time supply chains break down or hit a bottleneck. It's a fundamental difference.”

America Is Investing In Its Infrastructure

One of President Biden's initiatives to help grow the economy is making a generational investment in U.S. infrastructure. The President noted that when he came into the United States Congress, America was No. 1 in infrastructure in the world. Today, he said, we’re No. 13.

“We're investing $1.2 trillion bipartisanly to upgrade our infrastructure, to fix crumbling roads and bridges and ports, airports all across the country,” said President Biden. “That's going to help [businesses] get goods to the market faster while creating good-paying union jobs. Everybody wins when that occurs, and the return on our investment is going to strengthen our competitiveness throughout the 21st century.”

The United States Is Prepared to Invest New Capital

President Biden told the audience of CEOs and business leaders that he wants to make it easier for them to invest in other countries to help level the global playing field. He said the United States is ready to put new capital in American development banks and catalyze the flow of private capital into the Latin American region.

“We need to make it easier for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to develop their 5G infrastructure without having to choose between investing in their digital future or renewable energy structure,” said President Biden. “We need to unlock the financing so both can be done at the same time.”

“We want to make sure our closest neighbors have a real choice between the debt trap development that has become more and more common in the region and the high quality, transparent approach to infrastructure and investment that delivers lasting gains for workers and their families,” he continued. “By working through the U.S. international development finance corporation, [we] lower the risk around these kinds of investments, support policy reforms, and improve the climate of investment in these countries [to] level the playing field.”