WASHINGTON – Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) today issued the following statement after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee received a letter from 11 heads of state from across Latin America and the Caribbean laying out their support for his efforts in Congress to authorize a capital increase for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Western Hemisphere’s leading multilateral development bank.
“I want to thank the 11 heads of state from Latin America and the Caribbean for their strong support for our efforts to advance a 10th capital increase for the Inter-American Development Bank, our hemisphere’s premier multilateral development bank.
“The fact is, as the Omicron variant reaches our hemisphere, the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has already devastated Latin America and the Caribbean more than any region in the world. Millions have fallen into poverty in the last two years, instability and forced migration continue to grow, all while the region faces the compounding challenges of an alarming democratic decline.
“As we continue bicameral negotiations to pass the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) into law so we can better counter China in the conduct of diplomacy around the globe, I am more committed than ever to ensuring a capital increase for the IDB is included as a critical provision to counter Beijing’s predatory behavior in our hemisphere. The United States has an opportunity to work with our closest partners in the Americas to embark upon a long-term plan for combined socioeconomic growth that allows all of our citizens to share in the prosperity that can be generated through an hemispheric-wide economic recovery.”
First introduced as a standalone legislation, Chairman Menendez’s Inter-American Development Bank General Capital Increase Act was approved by the full Senate as part of the comprehensive legislative package to bolster U.S. competiveness with China currently being negotiated with the House of Representatives.
Signing the letter to SFRC Chairman Bob Menendez and Ranking Member Jim Risch were:
President of Colombia Iván Duque Márquez;
President of Ecuador Guillermo Lasso;
Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley;
Prime Minister of Jamaica HE Andrew Holness;
President of Uruguay Luis Lacalle Pou;
President of Paraguay Mario Abdo Benítez;
President of Guatemala Alejandro Giammattei;
President of Dominican Republic Luis Abinader;
President of Costa Rica Carlos Alvarado Quesada;
President of Panama Laurentino Cortizo; and
Prime Minister of Belize Johnny Briceño.