The U.S. Commerce Department on Thursday announced its so-called “Look South” initiative to help American companies increase their exports to Latin America.
The Look South Initiative is specifically focused on increasing U.S. trade with the 11 Latin American economies with which the United States has free trade agreements. They include Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru.
“Tariffs are low, if they exist at all, which makes these markets fertile ground for more U.S. exports. And many of these countries are adopting good trade practices and standards in a variety of areas,” the Commerce Department said in a statement.
“Now is the time for a Look South Initiative to help businesses across the country explore Latin America’s expanding markets, learn about emerging opportunities in the region, and tap into federal programs that can help companies sell more products into the region, expanding their bottom line," said Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker during remarks at the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles.
The department’s Look South Web portal
features updated market research and information on commercial opportunities, expanded awareness of trade financing tools, and targeted public and private sector partnerships.
Major events following this announcement include Pritzker’s trade mission to Mexico in February, and Trade Winds – The Americas, a Commerce-led trade mission in May for hundreds of U.S. businesses with stops in multiple countries.