September 4, 2018
Last week, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) returned from travel with a congressional delegation to Guyana, Suriname, Honduras, and Brazil. He reflected on the trip’s main focuses, centering on climate change, immigration, and national defense. Rep. Peters joined Reps. Bob Goodlatte (VA), Steve Cohen (TN), John Rutherford (FL), Mark Sanford (SC), John Curtis (UT), Todd Rokita (IN), Richard Hudson (VA), and Darrell Issa (CA).
“During my travels to Guyana, Suriname, Honduras, and Brazil, I met with political leaders and military officers, and visited military installations and historical sites, to better understand the vital relationship between the United States and each nation.
Guyana and Suriname are covered with 77% and 94% virgin rainforest, respectively. As these countries continue to seek ways to gain economic power, they are working to balance economic growth with environmental protections, particularly since the discovery of a large oil reserve near Guyana’s shores. During our meetings with Suriname’s vice president, Ashwin Adhin, and Guyana’s president, David Granger, we discussed the global need to preserve rainforests and other diverse natural habitats, and expressed America’s desire serve as a partner and leader in international conservation.
During the visit to Honduras, we discussed USAID and State Department-funded projects that provide essential economic opportunities to the region. America has a stake in seeing Honduras and other Latin American countries tackle the economic strife that leads to unemployment, illicit drug use and criminal activity that drives mass migration to our southern borders.
The delegation met with the Honduran president, Juan Orlando Hernández, where we highlighted the importance of creating business-friendly policies that will allow United States-based companies have long-term, predictable investments in the region. We also discussed the importance of the Temporary Protected Status program, and the significance of U.S. foreign aid as a stabilizing force in this region. As our nation considers how best to address immigration, I urge my colleagues to consider investments to help address the problems in these countries that lead to people fleeing for their safety and well-being.
This delegation’s travel provided an opportunity to discuss some of America’s most pressing problems, strengthen international alliances, and demonstrate American leadership. As Congress comes back in session, I am grateful for the opportunity to represent the United States, and to engage in important conversations that will shape the future of engagement in these countries.”
For security reasons, the members did not disclose their travel before the trip was complete.