The Dominican Republic along with 10 other countries in the region have joined with the United States to create an alliance that seeks to promote joint economic prosperity in the hemisphere and in which the country is expected to be one of the biggest beneficiaries, according to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, José W. Fernández.
“The Dominican Republic, I believe, is going to be one of the most beneficiaries of this, because it is something that Dominican businessmen are requesting,” said Fernandez this Monday during a telephone conversation with journalists to talk about the objectives of the Alliance of the Americas for Economic Prosperity, announced last Friday by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
When questioned about how the US will help the allied countries, the US official explained that in the case of the Dominican Republic the alliance can impact the materialization of the government’s objective of “nearshoring”, which in the words of Fernandez means that “the industries we need and the supply chains to improve our economic security, come closer to our knees”.
The official pointed out as an example the improvement of customs systems or the unification of processes to make the countries involved more competitive, indicating that many companies manufacture their products in different countries and when assembling them in countries of the region, the components take a long time at the borders.
“We are looking for a way to speed up this process, to find a way to unite our processes to be more competitive, that is what we are pursuing” with this alliance, said Fernandez as a possible solution.
According to the Undersecretary of State, this new alliance, announced by the President of the United States, Joe Biden, at the Summit of the Americas held last year in Los Angeles, will allow the cooperation of the countries to be more competitive both in their production and imports, to other markets including the United States.
The alliance also includes Barbados, Chile, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay, and, according to Fernandez, more countries are expected to join, as long as they share the objectives of regional competitiveness, shared prosperity and investment.
The Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and Environment, José W. Fernández, said at the conference on Monday that the general objective of the alliance is to “establish new rules of conduct” to ensure that the continent has more fair jobs, that investments are made in a clean way and that the middle class expands.
He said that the region currently loses more investors because there are problems with the rule of law, lack of trust in the courts, corruption and obstacles to move manufactured components from one country to another, than because of disagreements over tariffs.
Therefore, he was emphatic that the alliance seeks to “create rules of conduct that improve the stability of the countries, improve the conditions of the workers and make our continent a more competitive place” and ensure investments because the area is more stable and generates more confidence and not because tariffs are reduced.
The U.S. official considered it necessary to clarify the focus of the new alliance, given that many Latin American nations already have free trade agreements.