Buen día! Thank you, Facundo and Alejandro, for inviting me to give opening remarks at this extremely important event.
It is so important because energy, critical minerals, and Argentina’s approach to the energy transition are key to Argentina’s economic future.
Argentina is blessed with incredible natural resources, first-class human resources, and immense growth potential. I’ve seen it first-hand in my travels around the country. From Vaca Muerta in Neuquén to the Lithium Triangle region to Patagonia with its renewable energy potential, Argentina is well-placed to play an increasingly important role in fueling the world.
I’m from Texas, so I am intimately aware of the effects a vibrant energy sector has on economic development for all sectors. The Texas economy is one of the most dynamic and fast-growing in the United States. Energy has been key to this growth, but its benefits have not been limited to that industry. The state’s entire economy is growing, from new investments in manufacturing and industry to the spectacular growth of the high-tech economy.
The United States is a natural partner for Argentina in every way, and one of my major goals as Ambassador is to facilitate increased interconnectedness and collaboration in the energy and mining sectors. Working together we can grow our economies and develop solutions to the challenges created by the climate crisis.
On a federal level, President Biden is working to grow the entire U.S. economy by asking government agencies to collaborate with the private sector to build a clean energy economy by focusing on sustainability.
We are emulating this model in our overseas engagement as well. For several years, the Department of State has worked with federal and provincial Argentina officials on sustainable lithium development.
Our bilateral cooperation on energy, including technical cooperation under the Department of Energy’s Net Zero World initiative, uses the expertise of the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratories to improve energy efficiency in Argentina and other countries.
Building strong and resilient supply chains for critical minerals is also one of President Biden’s top priorities. The Department of State is intensifying global cooperation to diversify critical mineral supply chains, particularly those that are essential to the energy transition.
Recognizing these priorities, the United States and other governments launched the Minerals Security Partnership (or MSP) last year.
This partnership aims to help all countries realize the full economic benefits of their mineral resources while meeting high environmental, social, and governance standards. We want the local communities and the countries that are home to mineral wealth to benefit from all stages of the critical minerals value chain, from extraction to processing and recycling.
Beyond technical assistance and government-to-government cooperation, we look to the presence and activity of the private sector to drive new investment, introduce new and developing technology to the sector, and foster a culture of innovation.
I am proud that we have many U.S. companies already engaged in the energy and mining sectors with products, services, and technologies contributing to a cleaner and better world.
Maintaining that crucial private sector involvement requires a business climate that attracts company engagement and participation. The investment climate is a key factor in how companies analyze the risks of coming to Argentina versus other destinations. Its elements are both tangible (like infrastructure and reliable electricity) and intangible – qualities like openness, transparency, and predictability.
The United States and Argentina have a strong relationship that I value greatly. We share the common goal of a productive, competitive, innovative, and sustainable Argentina playing a leadership role in the region.
We’re celebrating 200 years of friendship and partnership this year, and we must remember and celebrate that the ties that bind our countries together run deep. We recognize the impact made by U.S. companies investing in Argentina, and we’re seeing more of the reverse now, with Argentine companies investing in the United States as they grow and compete internationally.
I would like to close by thanking all of you in the private sector for all you do, whether you realize it or not, in reinforcing the ties of friendship between the United States and Argentina. President Biden and the United States Government are committed to a long-term, win-win relationship with Argentina and its people.
We are in a unique position now to harvest the results of the past 200 years, and sow seeds for the next 200 years of bilateral friendship to be even stronger. As always, the U.S. Embassy and the United States stand ready to continue working with all of you to craft a better future for the generations to come.