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ICYMI: Rubio Makes the Case for Closer U.S.-Uruguay Relations
The Case for Closer U.S.-Uruguay Relations
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
April 7, 2022
…We need to hone our efforts to counter authoritarian influences…and increase the resilience of our critical supply chains. That begins with…strengthening our bilateral relations with allies in the Western Hemisphere…. One country in particular that the U.S. should develop closer ties with is Uruguay.
Freedom House and the World Justice Project rank Uruguay as the first nation in Latin America in their indices of democracy and rule of law. The U.S. has a history of working alongside Uruguay in security and counter-narcotics, and Uruguay has long served as an important distribution center for American goods exported to central South America. Furthermore,…Uruguay is eager to adopt transparency and anti-corruption measures.
Finally,…while the Chinese Communist Party…is courting the Uruguayan government with a free trade agreement, Uruguay remains open to balancing its trade with more exports to Europe and the U.S. Not only would strengthening our bilateral relationship with Uruguay empower the democratic coalition in the Western Hemisphere, it would also push back against Moscow and Beijing’s authoritarian and anti-American influence in our region….
First, the U.S. should strengthen trade relations with Uruguay in a way that enhances both of our economies. Second, policymakers should expand the Development Finance Corporation’s (DFC’s) role in facilitating investment in Uruguay…. Third, the U.S. must expand cooperation with Uruguay on security, space, and counter-narcotics….
If the Biden Administration implements these policy changes, both Uruguay and the U.S. will benefit. But there is no reason to stop there. Countries like Paraguay and Ecuador are worthy partners who have shown a willingness to strengthen ties with the U.S. We should strengthen ties with them as well.
We need to remember that a stronger, safer Western Hemisphere means less Chinese and Russian influence in our region, more secure supply chains, and fewer drugs and illegal immigrants crossing our borders. For these reasons, the U.S. should prioritize closer bilateral relations with Uruguay, and with likeminded neighbors.
Read the rest here.