Vice President Pence Participates in a Joint Press Conference with President Santos of Colombia Cartagena, Colombia Start time 7:00 PM EDT – Audio Only

Vice President Mike Pence announced he will travel to Central and South America in August on behalf of President Trump. On August 13–18, 2017, the Vice President will travel to Cartagena and Bogota, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; and Panama City, Panama.

During his travel, the Vice President will meet with leaders from government and the business community to reaffirm the President’s commitment to deepening bilateral trade and investment ties with the region and continue the Administration’s support of security cooperation, business engagement, agriculture, and infrastructure development.

“At President Trump’s direction, and in a sign of the high importance he places on this region, in August I will travel to Central and South America,” said Vice President Pence. “I will build on the good work that has been done throughout President Trump’s Administration to bolster our shared economic and security goals.”

Additional details about the Vice President’s trip are forthcoming.

The White House

Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release

Readout of the Vice President’s Meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

Vice President Mike Pence met today with President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia at the Presidential Guest House in Cartagena. The leaders discussed a range of issues central to the bilateral relationship, including cooperation on counternarcotics, implementation of Colombia’s historic peace accord, and building the trade and economic relationship. Vice President Pence expressed concerns about the continuing rise of coca production, and reiterated US support for Colombia’s counternarcotics and eradication efforts. The two leaders discussed progress implementing the Peace Accords, including recent disarmament actions, and spoke frankly about the challenges that lie ahead. Highlighting the economic relationship and successful free trade agreement, Vice President Pence announced new market access for Colombian Hass avocados into the United States, and President Santos released measures to expand US exports of rough rice to Colombia. The Vice President also expressed support for Colombia’s effort to meet the OECD’s high standards, and pledged up to $2 million to improve labor practices. The two leaders also discussed their deep, mutual concern over the erosion of democracy in Venezuela, and Vice President Pence reiterated the President’s commitment to bring the full weight of US diplomatic and economic weight to bear to restore its democracy.