Bradley A. Freden
Interim U.S. Permanent Representative
August 1, 2021
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. It is a pleasure to be here in Colorado with all of you for the Americas Competitiveness Exchange (ACE). I thank Governor Polis for inviting us to his beautiful state of Colorado, a hub of American innovation.
Colorado has a special place in my heart, as I served for four years on the staff of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs as a paramedic, which made me eligible to join cadets at the Academy in their free-fall parachute training program, the only one of its kind in the U.S. military because there are no static-line jumps. Your very first jump is a ten-second freefall.
There are few things more exhilarating – or frightening – than standing in the open doorway of an airplane 5000 feet above the Colorado plains, waiting for the jumpmaster to yell “GO!” I am glad that you all will get the chance to learn more about the Air Force Academy and the defense industry that has grown up around it during your visit on Tuesday.
I recognize that this is the first in-person event held by the Organization of American States since the beginning of the pandemic. Since the last ACE was hosted in Santiago, Chile, in October 2019, our hemisphere has experienced a widespread reckoning with uncertainty, increasing inequality, and tremendous suffering due to COVID-19. The result in many countries is a continuing, deep economic downturn.
As we collectively confront these challenges, the promotion of inclusive and competitive economies is more critical now than ever before. Our joint efforts to strengthen the private sector in the region and promote partnerships with investment-friendly markets will benefit all of us and help our countries recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic.
The U.S. Department of State, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, continues to support ACE because we believe that an inclusive, innovative, and connected private sector is fundamental to promoting economic growth and inclusion in the Americas.
I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful Denver Botanic Gardens with all of you today and got a first-hand glimpse of what your week here will be like. You will experience an intense and enriching schedule, learning about and sharing best practices on innovation and entrepreneurship. I regret that I won’t be able to stay with you for the duration, because I know that you have an exciting agenda ahead of you.
As participants in ACE Colorado, the premier economic development, innovation, and entrepreneurial network of the Americas, you will gain knowledge, build relationships, and receive tools that should help your communities and countries recover from COVID-19 and strengthen your economies for the benefit of all.
I want to emphasize that it is a priority of the Biden-Harris administration to work with our partners in the region to build a safer, stronger, more prosperous, and more resilient Western Hemisphere.
As President Biden has said, “We must address the crises of today while promoting resilience, innovation, competitiveness, and truly shared prosperity for the future.”
It is my sincere hope that you will encounter examples of resilient entrepreneurial ventures, innovative new solutions to shared challenges, and competitive business strategies during your week here in Colorado. As you take what you learn in Colorado home with you and explore these ideas in your own communities, know that you will be a part of building this truly shared prosperity for the future.
We are counting on your follow-up efforts to make this week a source of partnership opportunities, inspiration, and positive outcomes.
On behalf of my team at the State Department through the United States Mission to the Organization of American States, I wish you all a successful week here in Colorado.
See Also: Department of Commerce Media Note