The Eighth Summit of the Americas Hosted by Peru

Chinese ambassador warns US not to drag Latam into trade dispute

Chinese ambassador warns US not to drag Latam into trade dispute

Trump pulled out of the summit to oversee the USA response to an apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria and asked Pence to attend in his place.

The United States, France and Britain were all taking part in the strikes against Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime.

These summits, which take place every three years, offer the opportunity to all attending mandataries to define together a hemispheric agenda of the highest level, where the most urgent challenges are engaged and a positive change is boosted.

Trump cancelled his trip to the summit on Tuesday, with the White House explaining that he had "to oversee the American response to Syria and to monitor developments around the world".

Pence is filling in for President Donald Trump at the Summit of the Americas in Lima after the president pulled out to focus on the US response to an apparent chemical weapons attack in Syria.

It will be the first meeting between the two leaders.

The vice president says Maduro has turned Venezuela into a dictatorship and has brought about "abject misery". The White House said Thursday that the vice president is also expected to hold a multi-lateral meeting with several Caribbean leaders.

Antonio Ledezma, the former mayor of Caracas, pleaded with Pence through a translator to bolster sanctions against Maduro, asking for "not only humanitarian aid but humanitarian intervention".

Pence says he will be calling on USA allies to provide additional humanitarian aid during the Summit of the Americas in Lima. White House officials said the vice president would emphasize the U.S.as the "partner of choice" in Latin American trade, noting that almost half of the USA trade agreements are based in the Western Hemisphere.

In Lima people have called for a more independent and united American continent.

Richard Feinberg, a senior fellow in the Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution, said it would be hard for the USA to make a case to become the "preferential trading partner" as Trump seeks to upend trade agreements.

Canadian officials have yet to officially react to the possibility of Washington joining the 11-nation trade pact, which also includes Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

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