SANTIAGO – The United States’ new ambassador to Chile said on Monday that the free-trade agreement linking the two nations since 2002 had been one of the most successful deals Washington has signed.
“The FTA is beneficial for both countries. It’s a more than 10-year-old agreement, and the flow of goods and services is constantly increasing. For us, it’s been a success. It’s one of the most successful treaties we have,” Carol Z. Perez said at a press conference after presenting her credentials to Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.
The United States’ first female ambassador to Chile, Perez said it was difficult to speculate on how the nations’ relations would change after Donald Trump takes office, adding that “we have to wait to have a more concrete policy” in place.
She said promoting bilateral prosperity would be a major focus.
“I will make it a priority to promote our shared prosperity. The United States is proud to be the largest source of foreign direct investment in Chile and to be its second-largest trade partner,” Perez said.
She said she also would seek during her tenure to strengthen existing links of cooperation and build new alliances, including working with civil society to promote LGBTI rights and promoting educational exchanges and joint scientific research.
Some 50,000 Americans live in Chile, and thousands of U.S. tourists visit the South American country every year.
Chile received a record 220,000 tourist arrivals from the United States in 2015.
Perez, who has more than 30 years of experience in the international relations area, has been a U.S. consul-general in Barcelona (2001-2003) and Milan (2009-2011).