June 8, 2022
Hon. Kamala Harris
Vice President, United States of America
Building a resilient and inclusive economy is critical to ongoing, sustainable growth in the United States and Western Hemisphere. As part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 2022 IV CEO Summit, Vice President Hon. Kamala Harris gave an address on the role of policymakers and the private sector in building a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable future for all.
A Prosperous Western Hemisphere Directly Benefits the American People
Beginning her address, Harris noted the importance of building a prosperous and inclusive future for the people of the Western Hemisphere.
“The economies of the Western Hemisphere are deeply intertwined, and the work we do to strengthen these ties directly impacts the American people,” the Vice President said. “Our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere comprise the largest market for American goods; the region accounts for nearly 50% of all American exports.”
“When we have resilient and secure supply chains that are close to us, disruptions will be less frequent, more goods will be available, and prices will come down,” she continued. “From Canada to Chile, a prosperous region benefits all our economies and creates more opportunities for our people.”
Public-Private Partnerships Are Essential to Economic Growth
Public-private partnerships are essential for a more prosperous future across our hemisphere, said Vice President Harris — partnerships that "combine the private sector and its experience and expertise with the reach and capacity that only governments can provide."
“Together, we can unleash growth and opportunity that far exceeds what either [...] would achieve on its own," she said.
This vision of public-private partnerships is leading the Biden administration’s strategy to address the root causes of migration from Central America. Harris shared the administration’s beliefs that people do not typically want to leave home but may do so if their needs cannot be met — and that the right partnerships and investments can make all the difference in building a better future for all.
Private Sector Investment and Government Action Can Support Millions in the Region
Vice President Harris explained that she launched a call to action focusing on Northern Central America to encourage companies and civil societies to “deeper their commitment in the region and to expand collaboration, to invest, and to contribute to long-term development.”
Following this call to action, the partnership of the private and public sectors has raised more than $3.2 billion for these efforts to date.
“This investment is on track to generate tens of thousands of jobs; it will help more than 10 million people access banking services and credit; and two million people already have been connected to the internet, with millions more to follow,” she noted. “In parallel, we are taking steps that only government can take.”
According to Harris, the administration has prioritized tackling corruption and protecting and empowering women as both a moral and economic imperative.
“Now and into the future, our [administration’s] ongoing partnership with the private sector will play a crucial role in realizing this vision — and I urge all of the leaders [...] to consider what you can continue to do to partner within the context of the vision I know we share,” Harris emphasized. “Our partnership can create new opportunities for individuals to not only succeed but to thrive.”
From the Series