US makes fresh pitch to Latin America in bid to counter China’s influence

US makes fresh pitch to Latin America in bid to counter China’s influence

In Latin America, the rivalry has recently prompted a public relations battle over which superpower could provide ventilators and PPE during the pandemic, outcry over a Chinese deepwater fishing fleet and renewed pressure over the adoption of Huawei technology in 5G networks.Chinese fishing flotilla nears Peruvian waters, prompting US-Beijing spatRead more

Now, the US seems intent on countering China’s growing commercial influence in the region, with a program challenging Beijing’s involvement in infrastructure developments and energy mega-projects.

On a recent visit to Suriname and Guyana – which have both recently made major offshore oil discoveries – Mike Pompeo made a direct sales pitch on behalf of US companies.

“No state-owned operation can beat the quality of the products and services of American private companies,” said the US secretary of state. “We’ve watched the Chinese communist party invest in countries, and it all seems great at the front end and then it all comes falling down when the political costs connected to that becomes clear.”

Pompeo – the first secretary of state to visit either country – also used the opportunity to sign up both nations to the Growth in the Americas programme, more frequently referred to as America Crece, its Spanish translation, which seeks to “catalyze private-sector investment in Latin America and the Caribbean”.