Latin American leaders champion free trade at Pacific Alliance summit


REUTERS – Latin American heads of state championed free trade on Monday (July 23) at the Pacific Alliance Summit in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera spoke to business leaders, all speaking out strongly in favor of free trade.

Santos said free trade was one of the founding principles of the Alliance. Pinera called protectionism a “new threat”. Pena Nieto said Mexico has modernized free trade agreements and Vizcarra said integration is important.

The Pacific Alliance was formed in 2011 and is comprised of Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. Meetings will continue until Wednesday (July 25).

The summit is underway as U.S. President Donald Trump spoke warmly of Mexico’s incoming leftist president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, saying he expected to get “something worked out” on NAFTA, while a top Mexican official said there was scope to revive the trade talks this week.