WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Latin American finance ministers met with their U.S. counterpart in Washington to work on deepening the U.S. economic relationship with the Pacific Alliance, which comprises Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
Mexico’s Finance Secretary Luis Videgaray, Colombia’s Finance Minister Mauricio Cárdenas, Peru’s Finance Minister Alonso Segura and Chile’s Undersecretary Alejandro Micco met with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.
The Pacific Alliance officials reiterated that the main purpose of their alliance is to improve the welfare of all their citizens by promoting growth and economic development and enhancing the competitiveness of their economies, the Treasury Department said on its website.
Lew conveyed his high regard for the commitment of the Pacific Alliance countries to strong economic policy management and noted that American workers and businesses will benefit from these countries’ deeper economic integration.
Lew also welcomed the Pacific Alliance’s interest in further deepening the strong trade and investment linkages that exist with the United States, as well as in exploring opportunities for cooperation among finance ministries at the technical level.
Lew and the ministers agreed to continue discussing the Pacific Alliance’s interest in strengthening its relationship with observer countries by defining projects of cooperation in core areas and to continue the U.S.-alliance partnership.
The Pacific Alliance was created as a regional integration initiative in 2011. It welcomed the United States as an observer in 2013. This was the first meeting between Treasury Secretary Lew and the finance ministers.
The alliance comprises 214 million people, with a combined gross domestic product of $2.1 trillion, which accounts for 37 percent of Latin America’s total GDP. Its members are unifying their stock exchanges, which will bring together more than 750 companies with a capitalization of $1.1 trillion, the Treasury Department said. Two-way trade in goods between the United States and Pacific Alliance members totaled nearly $600 billion in 2013.