June 9, 2022
Suzanne P. Clark
President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The Americas have an important partnership that cultivates economic growth and prosperity. Together, the Western Hemisphere can face — and recover from — challenges like the pandemic, supply chain issues, and climate change.
To kick off Day 2 of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Department of State’s 2022 IV CEO Summit in Los Angeles, Suzanne P. Clark, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, spoke about the broad themes, issues, and opportunities that the day’s panels would cover.
The Western Hemisphere Must Form a Strategic Response to Future Crises
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken almost 3 million lives throughout the hemisphere while causing massive economic strain. However, amid devastation and struggle, we experienced inspiring partnerships and empathy from individuals and organizations.
“It was great to see how business and government rallied together behind vaccines and other responses,” Clark reports. “We know that Latin America’s vaccination campaigns were some of the best, most effective in the world.”
While the world is still recovering from the impacts of the pandemic and its associated challenges, countries in the Americas must prepare for the next crisis.
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is standing up a resilience operations center that we hope will serve as a virtual hub that can connect businesses around our region to enhance operational resilience,” explained Clark. “We will, of course, coordinate with governments to strengthen the private sector’s response to future crises.”
Policymakers Can Better Support Energy Markets in the Americas
The Americas are facing an energy crisis fueled by climate change and shortages.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created a dangerous energy shortage, which has led to skyrocketing prices that strain family budgets, hinder business growth, and threaten regional security,” Clark stated. “We all face the realities of climate change, which impact our food supply, our weather, and our economies.”
However, the Americas are poised to be a global leader in sustainable energy production and investment.
“The Americas are an energy powerhouse,” said Clark. “We have a wealth of resources from vast oil and gas reserves to the minerals and metals that are essential to an energy transition to our vast solar and wind potential.”
Clark’s solution requires the private sector and government leaders to work together to push innovation. She urged government leaders to remove energy policies that punish private sector entities that could support energy markets in the Americas.
Digital Transformation Will Enhance Growth Across the Americas
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of technology while showing us how it can change the way we work, learn, and live. According to Clark, technology has “profound potential to enhance growth and transparency and economic inclusion across the Americas.”
To meet this potential, the Americas must address the technological divide between various communities and countries. Clark called for “one online ecosystem where we can all trade and work freely.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is advocating for high-standard digital trade rules similar to the ones implemented in the United States, Mexico, and Canada Agreement.
“We have an opportunity to come back from the pandemic stronger than ever,” Clark said. “Our hemisphere could be a leading exporter of energy, a premier destination for international travel and tourism, [and] a model for democracy, for human rights, the rule of law, and the prosperity that flows from each.”
From the Series