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Excerpts: Assistant Secretary Breier’s Remarks at the 2019 Concordia Americas Summit
May 14, 2019

Assistant Secretary Breier’s Remarks at the 2019 Concordia Americas Summit
Kimberly Breier, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, speaks at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, April 17, 2019. The Trump administration announced that it’s allowing lawsuits against foreign companies operating in properties seized from Americans in Cuba, a major policy shift that has angered European and other allies.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Remarks on “A New Era in the Americas” at the 2019 Concordia Americas Summit

Assistant Secretary Kimberly Breier: I believe China is the big strategic question for the hemisphere. The U.S. Administration has taken a closer look at China’s engagement in the Americas given significant U.S. interest. China is and will remain a significant trade and investment partner for the United States and for many other countries. We welcome fair competition with China; but Chinese companies must operate on a level playing field, in ways where they play by the rules, and respect environmental and labor standards.

However, far too often China has departed from international best practices; and when it does, its opaque methods have enabled corruption and eroded good governance. I believe the region is now recognizing that the way China operates is not compatible with the system in the region. In the Western Hemisphere, all countries expect – and should demand – that infrastructure development projects feature a transparent procurement process, uphold environmental and social safeguards, and foster inclusive growth in line with the standards of international financial institutions. We all have much at stake at getting this right, as investment in the region – by China or other countries – will have a generational impact on our citizens.