Vice president delivers remarks.
Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a roundtable Monday to announce that international businesses have committed $1.2 billion to investing in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
The announcement follows an appeal she made in May for companies to invest in the Central American countries to improve stability and opportunity.
Harris also touched on other measures by which the Biden administration is attempting to address the “root causes” of the flood of migrants to the United States.
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at sunset view scenic overlook while touring Lake Mead in Boulder City, Nevada, on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. ( Bridget Bennett/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)
“Today we mark an important milestone,” Harris said. “Six months ago, we launched a call to action for businesses to invest in Central America. Six months ago, 12 people were around this table. Today, we have 77 partners who are here and virtually here, with 1,300 more businesses, civil society leaders, who are watching this conversation and this convening.
“Six months ago, we had a commitment of $750 million. Today, we have a commitment of over $1.2 billion.”
The meeting included representatives from Microsoft, PepsiCo, MasterCard, Cargill and Nespresso.
In this May 11, 2017, file photo, members of a design team at Cirque du Soleil demonstrate use of Microsoft’s HoloLens device in helping to virtually design a set at the Microsoft Build 2017 developers conference in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Other investments will come from Parkdale Mills, which will build a new yarn spinning facility in Honduras, and CARE International, which will build a $50 million Center for Gender Equity in Guatemala.
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The border wall stretches along the U.S.-Mexico border on the Johnson Ranch near Columbus, N.M., on Monday, April 12, 2021. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images / Getty Images)
Harris also announced “two important task forces” in Guatemala to address human smuggling and corruption.
Regarding the dangerous trek that many migrants must take in their attempt to reach the U.S., Harris said: “Sadly, just last Thursday, in Mexico, more than 60 Guatemalans died. They were in a tractor trailer accident after paying smugglers to take them to the border. And this, of course, underscores the human toll that is associated with that plight.”
“As a neighbor in the Western Hemisphere, I believe I think we all know the United States has an important role to play in addressing the root causes of migration. At the same time, our government cannot do its work alone,” she added.
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