U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that Washington considers its "relationship with South America, Central America, Mexico to be central to American success."
In an interview with VOA on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires on December 1, Pompeo noted that President Donald Trump has been "committed to that since the beginning of his time in office," although the president's current trip to Argentina is his first visit to the region.
Pompeo expressed concern about China's efforts to boost ties in Latin America.
"We are all concerned about China and the way China enters countries," Pompeo said. "It is not always the case that when China shows up, it's with a good intention for the people of the country they are showing up ostensibly to support. It's most often about China."
Pompeo also said the United States was committed to working to create economic opportunities for people in Central America, in part to reduce incentives for them to seek to migrate to the United States.
He said Washington would work with Mexico to create opportunities "so these people will have better lives there."
"It's the capacity to live their lives the way they want to with economic success and freedom," Pompeo said. "We're committed to assisting in that, and in the time that we can't get there, we're also determined to make sure the human rights of the migrants are respected. At the same time, enforcing U.S. law."