U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry participated in COA's 45th Annual Washington Conference on the Americas, outlining U.S. policy in the region.
He spoke about the Americas' political evolution in the last 20 years, saying that recent 7th Summit of the Americas in Panama was "in some ways a first" due to all 35 countries in the region participating. Kerry addressed topics such as the growth of democracy and the middle class in the Western Hemisphere, saying that half of new jobs in the region are created by small and medium-sized entreprises. On broader policies such as trade and the environment, the secretary said that the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership should build prosperity throughout the region and that the answer to climate change lies on energy policy.
On social inclusion in the region, Kerry spoke of the importance of education and said that economies cannot thrive when women aren't given a seat at the table: "No team can win a game with half the team on the bench.”