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At Summit of Americas, Biden Pledges U.S. Assistance on Latin American Problems


LOS ANGELES — President Biden opened the three-day Summit of the Americas on Wednesday by promising leaders from Latin America that the US was committed to helping the region combat crime, corruption and its economic struggles.

“These challenges affect all of us,” Mr. Biden told the leaders on the opening ceremony of the summit, a gathering of countries of the Western Hemisphere intended to handle the region’s shared problems. “All of our nations have a responsibility to step up and ease the pressure individuals are feeling today.”

America is serving because the host to the ninth of those summits, which began in Miami in 1994. In short remarks, Mr. Biden delivered a version of his domestic economic pitch, urging governments within the hemisphere to take a position in employees and the center class.

“What’s true in the US is true in every country: Trickle-down economics doesn’t work,” he said, prompting some applause from the audience contained in the Microsoft Theater near the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“Once we put money into strengthening employees and the center class,” he said, “the poor have a ladder up, and people at the highest do exactly high quality. That’s how we will increase opportunity and reduce persistent inequity.”

Mr. Biden has hoped to make use of the summit to reassert U.S. leadership within the region and make diplomatic progress on quite a lot of fronts, but his efforts are already facing severe challenges.

His call to “get to work constructing the longer term this region deserves” was undercut days ago when several of probably the most distinguished of its leaders declined to attend, citing the president’s refusal to ask the leaders of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

But Mr. Biden proceeded on Wednesday night as if the snub had made no difference, saying that the gathering in Los Angeles would announce what he called “a groundbreaking, integrated recent approach to managing migration and sharing responsibility across the hemisphere.”

White House officials have declined to supply specifics, but people conversant in the hassle said that governments had been working on pledges for every to simply accept a certain variety of refugees from the region.

Critics have questioned the worth of such a declaration without the leaders of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — which generate almost 66 percent of the migration to the US border every 12 months — in attendance.

Administration officials said that those countries supported the hassle, despite their absence. In his remarks, Mr. Biden said the declaration “represents a mutual commitment to take a position in regional solutions that enhance stability, increase opportunities for protected and orderly migration.”

The leaders will begin formal meetings on Thursday.

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