Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel to the Dominican Republic for a meeting focused on better integrating the economies of the U.S., Latin and South America and the Caribbean, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said today.
The Oct. 5 trip “is about trying to harmonize and integrate our economic policies so all of these free trade agreements we have can work” together more smoothly, Nuland said.
Clinton has focused on strengthening existing regional trade and economic alliances since she took over at State in 2008. While she has focused particularly on Asia, U.S. goods and services trade with the Western Hemisphere totaled $1.5 trillion in 2008, the latest full year data from the U.S. Trade Representative.
The “Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas” meeting will be the fourth to bring together government officials, business leaders, and academics to share best practices that promote economic growth in the Western Hemisphere, a State Department statement said.
Participating countries include Belize, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Uruguay. The Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization of American States, and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean will also be represented.
Clinton will be accompanied by Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Jose W. Fernandez and Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson.
Fernandez and Jacobson will stay in Santo Domingo after the secretary’s departure to attend the Americas Competitiveness Forum, which will focus on increasing competitiveness through education, innovation in services, renewable energy, the business climate and easing trade barriers, the State Department said.
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