- Larry Kudlow, Director, U.S. National Economic Council
- Kimberly Breier, former Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, U.S. State Department
- Clay Neff, President, Chevron Middle East, Africa, South America Exploration and Production Company
- Eric Farnsworth, Vice President, Americas Society/Council of the Americas
- Susan Segal, President and CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas
After a welcome from Eric Farnsworth to the 2020 Washington Conference on the Americas plenary session of the day, Ambassador Kimberly Breier spoke, noting how the conference and the Council were “key partners” during her time at the U.S. State Department. Next, Chevron’s Clay Neff, in introducing keynote speaker Larry Kudlow, said that, “If I may take the liberty to speak on behalf of our member companies, we are all very fortunate to work with an administration that sees us as partners” in the economic recovery from the pandemic.
In his keynote, Kudlow said he believes the overall effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. economy is “very mild” and that the economy is experiencing a v-shaped recovery. He called the recently implemented United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade “an extremely important deal, maybe the best deal of its kind ever written.” Responding to a question from Susan Segal about Beijing’s seemingly ubiquitous presence in Latin America, Kudlow said, “We are particularly unhappy with China’s continuous efforts to subvert American businesses, to hack, to commit espionage, to eavesdrop, and … to undermine financial markets,” cautioning member companies in attendance, “I would suggest keeping your eyes open.” Kudlow also said he personally believes all of Latin America should be dollarized. “That would take away a lot of problems,” he said. “Stable currencies are essential to economic growth.”