Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Chilean President Makes First Official U.S. Visit



Today, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera begins a week-long trip through through the hemisphere, making his first official visit to the United States since he took office in 2010. He will also travel to Canada, El Salvador and Panama.

Piñera’s visit comes as the Obama administration has displayed a more visible interest in boosting ties with Latin America.  President Obama traveled to Mexico and Costa Rica in May and Vice President Joe Biden is currently in Brazil—the last leg of a trip that took him to Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago.  

Piñera will kick off his trip in Ottawa, Canada where he will meet with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and attend a day-long conference on technology and learning before heading to the United States on Saturday.

In the U.S., Piñera will meet with members of the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees, Secretary of State John Kerry and other world leaders, including International Monetary Fund (IMF) Director Christine Lagarde and World Bank Director Jim Yong Kim. 

Piñera will close his U.S. visit by meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday.  The presidents will discuss their bilateral agendas and broach the possibility of relaxing or eliminating U.S. visa requirements for Chilean citizens.  The presidents also plan to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—a trade alliance between 11 Pacific Rim countries, including the U.S. and Chile. 

After the U.S., Piñera will travel to El Salvador to meet with President Mauricio Funes and to Panama, where he will tour the renovations of the Panama Canal.

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