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Tillerson warns Latin America to beware of China

05 February 2018

Before departing on his regional tour, Tillerson in a speech on February 1 warned countries of the Western Hemisphere to beware of "alarming" actions by Russian Federation and China in their region, urging them to work with the United States instead.

On the one-year anniversary of his job as U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson is embarking on a trip to improve relations with Latin America.

"This is having a frightful effect on American citizens, Mexican citizens, Canadian citizens". "We can lift more people out of poverty".

Videgaray said all three countries had agreed to place "special emphasis" on fighting both the supply and demand side of the problem: the Mexican drug cartels fueling a wave of bloodshed in his country, and the U.S. and Canadian consumption making it a multi-billion-dollar business. "You can not expect to have one without the other". Tillerson is also due to meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto.

During his speech at the Blanton Museum of Art, Tillerson outlined the U.S.'s commitment to supporting democratic values in Latin America.

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In Mexico City, Tillerson was due to discuss security and immigration with top officials, and he warned of the need to fight violent drug cartels.

"In many ways the relationship today is more close, it's more fluid, than it was with the previous administration". In September, Maduro said that the army should be ready to defend the country's sovereignty, which was being "blatantly threatened by the most criminal empire in the history of mankind".

Despite being by far Mexico's main trading partner, the USA has insisted that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which both countries are in with Canada, should be renegotiated. But it was impossible to paper over tensions on certain issues. "We seek partners with shared values".

"And then, if he is not re-elected by the people, so be it", Tillerson said.

Videgaray said both that and the wall were internal decisions for the USA government.

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On his trip, Tillerson will be pushing good governance and anti-corruption efforts as well as promoting trade with the United States, which he hailed as a better alternative to China.

It is becoming increasingly likely NAFTA talks will extend through 2018.

Videgaray and Freeland both touted their vision for a "win-win-win" deal.

The top US diplomat is expected to use his time in the region to build a coalition that would levy political and economic sanctions against the governments of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, and Raul Castro in Cuba.

The Constituent Assembly, convened to rewrite the constitution, took over the opposition-led National Congress.

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Tillerson, in a speech ahead of a visit to Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and Jamaica, also said Russia's growing presence in the region was "alarming as well".

Tillerson warns Latin America to beware of China