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Menendez Statement on Trump Canceling Plans to Attend Summit of the Americas

WASHINGTONSenator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after President Trump announced he was canceling his plans to attend the 8th Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru.

 “The President’s decision not to attend the Summit of the Americas is yet another retreat of U.S. leadership in our own hemisphere. In abandoning the bipartisan tradition of U.S. presidents attending this critical gathering, President Trump is losing an opportunity to strengthen the critical economic partnerships and security cooperation required to advance our national interests. If the Administration is serious about addressing regional challenges related to drug trafficking, transnational organized crime, and the growing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, the President must replace his pattern of inattention and insults with sustained strategic engagement.”

“Repeated chemical weapons use in Syria demands a coordinated international response and U.S. leadership, but our Commander in Chief must be capable of balancing multiple global priorities.  This latest abdication of U.S. leadership only creates an opening for our competitors – including Russia and China – to expand their influence in the hemisphere, and reduces our ability to effectively promote our values and protect our interests. This should be a concern for all Americans.”