Senator Carper Highlights the Importance of Promoting Rule of Law and Expanding Education Access in the Western Hemisphere

U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness, led a hearing on “Economic Cooperation for a Stronger and More Resilient Western Hemisphere,” where he highlighted the importance of deepening economic ties with countries across Central and South America to promote economic growth and security throughout the hemisphere. During the hearing, Senator Carper shared lessons learned from the recent congressional delegation trip to Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, and illustrated the importance of rule of law and expanding access to education and workforce development to create greater stability in the region.

After his opening statement, Senator Carper highlighted the importance of the United States’ role in strengthening rule of law abroad to promote job creation and stability:

“When I led [a CODEL earlier this year]… we heard in one country after another how important rule of law was… [from] the business leaders, government officials, and civil society members in Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico… Rule of law is critical… If you have it, nothing else matters. [Like] integrity, if you don’t have it, nothing else matters. And the same is true of rule of law.”

Senator Carper also emphasized the importance expanding access to education and workforce development throughout Central and South America:  

“Our success as a nation is largely interdependent with that of the folks who live south of us. In almost every CODEL I’ve been a part of we’ve talked a fair amount about education and access to education… One of the most impactful ways to improve lives and to uplift entire countries is by better ensuring that the people, their young people and not so young people, have access to the education and workforce training that’s needed to support themselves and their families, and actually the kind of workforce that’s needed by employers in those particular countries.”

Ambassadors from across the hemisphere were also present during the hearing to better understand the U.S. role in promoting economic growth in this region. Those in attendance included diplomats from Uruguay, Colombia, Guatemala, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica, Peru, El Salvador, and Paraguay.

A video of Senator Carper’s questions from the hearing can be found here and here.