April 5 (UPI) — President Donald Trump will promote the United States as a trade “partner of choice” while attending the Summit of the Americas in Peru late next week, White House officials said Thursday.
During a conference call with reporters, the White House said Trump will focus during the summit on promoting American prosperity in the Western Hemisphere, fair reciprocal trade and leadership on Venezuela.
Trump plans to make clear that the United States is the trade “partner of choice” for South American countries, not China.
The president next week will also travel to Bogota, Colombia, where he will have a joint speaking event with President Juan Manuel Santos.
The president is scheduled to meet with “strong regional partners” during the visit, but will not meet with Cuban President Raul Castro. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro will not attend the summit.
White House officials said Thursday Maduro’s absence is a “good sign,” but that they don’t anticipate any announcements on further sanctions against Venezuela.
“The international community has been very strong, very together on the declining situation on Venezuela,” administration officials said in a statement. “Over the next several months we will see more U.S. steps to punish both Maduro and the cronies he keeps in power through his corruption.”