Jared Kushner seeks to hold an investment conference in Mexico City to raise money to help boost investment in Central American countries.
White House adviser Jared Kushner is organizing an investment conference in Mexico City, with which he seeks to match private money with foreign aid to Central America that his father-in-law, President Donald Trump, froze as punishment for the uncontrolled migration of the region to the US
Planners expect to hold the conference at the end of March or April, according to four people familiar with the matter. The event would also involve the governments of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, which would commit to enacting friendly policies for unspecified businesses, according to one of the people.
People asked not to be identified because the conference has not been announced.
The White House hopes that the new investments and aid to the three countries will serve as a reward for the cooperation of its governments with Trump’s impulse to stop the flow of migrants and as incentives for citizens of the region to remain in their countries of origin. It is also an attempt to re-frame the US foreign aid provision, an expense that Trump has often dismissed as wasteful.
The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico have been very involved in planning, as has the United States Department of the Treasury, according to two of the people.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said last March that the United States and Mexico were working to reach an agreement that would generate $ 10 billion in development aid for Mexico and Central America.
There has already been a substantial response from private investors to whom Kushner has requested to participate, said one of the people. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is considering attending.
The spokesmen of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico declined to comment.
Trump suspended more than $ 500 million in development aid for Central American countries last March, amid an increase in the number of people in the region that crosses the US border to its highest level in more than a decade. Later, the administration authorized the release of some of the frozen aid for the anti-narcotics and anti-gang programs, as well as the help to resettle the refugees, after the countries negotiated with the United States to cooperate in reducing migration and accepting the return of trapped people crossing the border without authorization.
While the appeal of defrosting US aid could provide an incentive for Central American governments and private investors to participate in the conference, similar efforts led by Kushner have stumbled before. He helped organize an investment conference in Bahrain last year with the intention of generating momentum for Trump’s peace plan in the Middle East, which was attended by several international business figures, but attracted little acceptance from leaders Regional
The “Peace to Prosperity” event in Bahrain was aimed at identifying US $ 50,000 million for new investments, infrastructure and tourism in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and nearby Arab countries. However, he was boycotted by Palestinian leaders, who said they would reject US financial aid without an agreement for a Palestinian state.
Prior to the conference in Mexico City, senior US officials sought to involve business leaders from across the region as part of the “América Crece” administration initiative, which was announced in 2018 and expanded last year. The US Chamber of Commerce organized an event in December in which senior officials from seven cabinet agencies met with business and political leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean.
The State Department said the administration is particularly focused on investments in critical infrastructure, including energy, airports, ports, roads, telecommunications and digital networks.
Separately, Kushner has recently met with business leaders and conservatives to try to resurrect a proposed reform of the US immigration system, National Public Radio reported earlier this month. A plan announced in May 2019 would classify aspiring immigrants to the US under metrics that include age, English proficiency and whether they had job offers at certain salary levels or in specialty fields.
However, the plan ignored the key priorities of the Democrats, including the provision of legal status to migrants known as “Dreamers,” who were illegally brought to the country as children. The initiative has been largely ignored in Capitol Hill and has failed to gain ground as a campaign issue.
Source: el economista
The Mazatlan Post