President Obama attended the Summit of the Americas this weekend in Cartagena, Colombia, along with more than 30 leaders from North, South, and Central America. In a panel discussion, President Obama spoke about cooperation throughout the Americas:
I think that, through various international organizations and organizations here within the hemisphere, we've seen enormous progress. Trade between the United States and Latin, Central-South America, Central America and the Caribbean has expanded 46 percent since I came into office—46 percent.
Before I came to Cartagena, I stopped in Tampa, Florida, which is the largest port in Florida. And they are booming and expanding. And the reason is, is because of the enormous expansion of trade and commerce with this region. It's creating jobs in Florida, and it's creating jobs in Colombia, and it's creating jobs in Brazil and throughout the region. Businesses are seeing that if they have an outstanding product or an outstanding service, they don’t have to restrict themselves to one market, they now have a regional market and ultimately a global market in which they can sell their goods and succeed.
Read the President's full remarks here.